INDIANA BOYS BASKETBALL SCORES
|BEDFORD NORTH LAWRENCE||55||LOOGOOTEE||53|
|BEN DAVIS||61||COVENANT CHRISTIAN||42|
|CAMBRIDGE CITY LINCOLN||61||HAGERSTOWN||57||OT|
|CARROLL (FORT WAYNE)||69||FORT WAYNE NORTH||63|
|CHRISTEL HOUSE MANUAL||69||INDIANAPOLIS SHORTRIDGE||63|
|CLINTON PRAIRIE||73||CLINTON CENTRAL||31|
|CULVER ACADEMY||67||VICTORY CHRISTIAN||61||OT|
|EASTERN GREENE||51||OWEN VALLEY||32|
|EVANSVILLE BOSSE||69||EVANSVILLE NORTH||64|
|EVANSVILLE CHRISTIAN||85||WOOD MEMORIAL||66|
|EVANSVILLE MATER DEI||59||JASPER||46|
|EVANSVILLE MEMORIAL||68||MOUNT VERNON (POSEY)||49|
|FLOYD CENTRAL||66||SILVER CREEK||54|
|FORT WAYNE BLACKHAWK||96||FORT WAYNE SNIDER||59|
|FORT WAYNE CONCORDIA||49||FORT WAYNE NORTHROP||39|
|FORT WAYNE LUERS||83||FORT WAYNE SOUTH||74|
|FORT WAYNE WAYNE||66||HOMESTEAD||62||OT|
|INDIANAPOLIS METROPOLITAN||76||PROVIDENCE CRISTO REY||59|
|KNIGHTSTOWN||65||ANDERSON PREP ACADEMY||49|
|LAFAYETTE CENTRAL CATHOLIC||56||FAITH CHRISTIAN||49||OT|
|LAKE CENTRAL||56||EAST CHICAGO CENTRAL||45|
|LINTON-STOCKTON||77||TERRE HAUTE SOUTH||52|
|MARQUETTE CATHOLIC||72||DEMOTTE CHRISTIAN||56|
|MICHIGAN CITY||75||BOWMAN ACADEMY||74|
|MISHAWAKA MARIAN||61||NEW PRAIRIE||23|
|MOUNT VERNON (FORTVILLE)||79||MOORESVILLE||53|
|MUNCIE CENTRAL||43||PENDLETON HEIGHTS||41|
|NEW PALESTINE||67||GUERIN CATHOLIC||64|
|NORTH CENTRAL (FARMERSBURG)||52||SULLIVAN||51|
|NORTH JUDSON||64||GARY WEST||59|
|PARK TUDOR||61||INDIANAPOLIS CHATARD||56|
|PENN||87||SOUTH BEND ADAMS||35|
|PERRY MERIDIAN||48||INDIANAPOLIS LUTHERAN||41||OT|
|PRAIRIE HEIGHTS||69||FORT WAYNE CANTERBURY||55|
|PURDUE POLY ENGLEWOOD||62||THRIVAL INDY ACADEMY||59|
|RIVER FOREST||79||HAMMOND SCIENCE & TECH||49|
|ROBINSON (ILL.)||53||TERRE HAUTE NORTH||49|
|ROCK CREEK ACADEMY||61||LANESVILLE||37|
|SHAWE MEMORIAL||68||COLUMBUS CHRISTIAN||67|
|SOUTH BEND CLAY||95||SOUTH BEND CAREER||90|
|SOUTHWESTERN (SHELBYVILLE)||67||INDIANA DEAF||33|
|VINCENNES RIVET||56||WASHINGTON CATHOLIC||38|
|WEST VIGO||54||PARIS (ILL.)||33|
|WESTFIELD||47||HARRISON (WEST LAFAYETTE)||42|
INDIANA BOYS BASKETBALL AP POLLS
1. BEN DAVIS (23-0)
2. PENN (18-1)
3. CENTER GROVE (17-2)
4. HAMMOND CENTRAL (18-1)
5. BROWNSBURG (17-2)
6. JENNINGS COUNTY (16-1)
7. KOKOMO (15-4)
8. INDIANAPOLIS CATHEDRAL (13-4)
9. MUNSTER (17-2)
10. NEW PALESTINE (17-1)
1. NORTHWOOD (16-2)
2. MISHAWAKA MARIAN (18-2)
3. NORWELL (17-2)
4. WEST NOBLE (16-2)
5. SOUTH BEND WASHINGTON (14-3)
6. SCOTTSBURG (15-2)
6. LAKE STATION (16-1)
8. BREBEUF JESUIT (12-5)
9. OAK HILL (14-2)
10. TIPPECANOE VALLEY (15-3)
1. LINTON-STOCKTON (19-1)
2. SOUTH SPENCER (17-1)
3. WAPAHANI (17-1)
4. FORT WAYNE BLACKHAWK (16-3)
5. UNIVERSITY (16-1)
6. BROWNSTOWN CENTRAL (14-4)
7. PROVIDENCE (14-3)
8. GARY 21ST CENTURY (15-5)
9. CARROLL (FLORA) (14-3)
10. TIPTON (13-4)
1. BLOOMFIELD (16-3)
2. ORLEANS (16-2)
3. BETHESDA CHRISTIAN (13-2)
4. MORGAN TWP. (15-3)
5. FOUNTAIN CENTRAL (15-4)
5. LOOGOOTEE (11-7)
7. BLUE RIVER (14-5)
8. EVANSVILLE CHRISTIAN (12-8)
9. INDIANAPOLIS LUTHERAN (9-7)
10. EDINBURGH (12-6)
GIRLS BASKETBALL REGIONAL PAIRINGS
VALPARAISO [23-2] VS. SOUTH BEND WASHINGTON [26-0]
LAKE CENTRAL [21-5] VS. NORTHRIDGE [22-5]
HOMESTEAD [19-5] VS. FISHERS [23-2]
FORT WAYNE SNIDER [20-4] VS. HARRISON (WEST LAFAYETTE) [16-9]
LAWRENCE NORTH [17-9] VS. BROWNSBURG [16-9]
BEN DAVIS [17-9] VS. MOUNT VERNON (FORTVILLE) [19-6]
BEDFORD NORTH LAWRENCE
CENTER GROVE [21-4] VS. FRANKLIN [18-5]
BEDFORD NORTH LAWRENCE [23-3] VS. EVANSVILLE CENTRAL [15-11]
MISHAWAKA MARIAN [22-5] VS. TIPPECANOE VALLEY [21-3]
FAIRFIELD [24-2] VS. HIGHLAND [17-6]
HAMILTON HEIGHTS [19-5] VS. NORWELL [21-3]
TWIN LAKES [26-0] VS. GARRETT [14-11]
INDIAN CREEK [25-1] VS. PURDUE POLY ENGLEWOOD [22-5]
CASCADE [22-2] VS. INDIANAPOLIS CHATARD [11-13]
CORYDON CENTRAL [24-2] VS. RUSHVILLE [14-13]
GIBSON SOUTHERN [20-4] VS. PRINCETON [16-10]
CENTRAL NOBLE [24-2] VS. SOUTH CENTRAL (UNION MILLS) [23-3]
ANDREAN [24-3] VS. NORTH MIAMI [19-5]
EASTBROOK [19-5] VS. LAPEL [19-7]
LAFAYETTE CENTRAL CATHOLIC [19-6] VS. FORT WAYNE LUERS [11-13]
EASTERN HANCOCK [22-3] VS. UNIVERSITY [20-4]
GREENCASTLE [22-4] VS. UNION COUNTY [16-9]
SOUTH RIPLEY [16-9] VS. NORTH KNOX [26-1]
BROWNSTOWN CENTRAL [19-7] VS. FOREST PARK [22-3]
TRI-COUNTY [14-11] VS. BETHANY CHRISTIAN [21-3]
WASHINGTON TWP. [19-6] VS. ARGOS [13-12]
TRI-CENTRAL [11-13] VS. ROSSVILLE [15-10]
TRI [24-1] VS. SOUTHWOOD [19-5]
JAC-CEN-DEL [15-11] VS. BETHESDA CHRISTIAN [12-13]
EMINENCE [17-6] VS. BLOOMFIELD [13-14]
SPRINGS VALLEY [17-7] VS. TRINITY LUTHERAN [21-6]
LANESVILLE [24-2] VS. WOOD MEMORIAL [14-10]
INDIANA WRESTLING SEMI-STATE
1. EAST CHICAGO CENTRAL (JOHN C. BARATTO ATHLETIC CENTER) | 8 AM CT
FEEDER REGIONALS: CROWN POINT, HOBART, LOGANSPORT, PENN.
VIEW BRACKETS: https://www.trackwrestling.com/predefinedtournaments/MainFrame.jsp?newSession=false&TIM=1675638826745&pageName=%2Fpredefinedtournaments%2FBracketViewer.jsp&twSessionId=waenamisok
2. NEW HAVEN (ALLEN COUNTY WAR MEMORIAL COLISEUM) | 8 AM ET
FEEDER REGIONALS: CARROLL (FORT WAYNE), GOSHEN, JAY COUNTY, PERU.
VIEW BRACKETS: https://www.trackwrestling.com/predefinedtournaments/MainFrame.jsp?newSession=false&TIM=1675638940555&pageName=%2Fpredefinedtournaments%2FBracketViewer.jsp&twSessionId=waenamisok
3. NEW CASTLE (NEW CASTLE FIELDHOUSE) | 8 AM ET
FEEDER REGIONALS: FRANKFORT, PENDLETON HEIGHTS, PERRY MERIDIAN, RICHMOND.
VIEW BRACKETS: https://www.trackwrestling.com/predefinedtournaments/MainFrame.jsp?newSession=false&TIM=1675638980129&pageName=%2Fpredefinedtournaments%2FBracketViewer.jsp&twSessionId=waenamisok
4. EVANSVILLE F.J. REITZ (FORD CENTER) | 8 AM CT
FEEDER REGIONALS: BLOOMINGTON SOUTH, CASTLE, JEFFERSONVILLE, MOORESVILLE.
VIEW BRACKETS: https://www.trackwrestling.com/predefinedtournaments/MainFrame.jsp?newSession=false&TIM=1675638907855&pageName=%2Fpredefinedtournaments%2FBracketViewer.jsp&twSessionId=waenamisok
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
#18 INDIANA 66 #24 RUTGERS 60
MIKE WOODSON POST GAME: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWrLNlRolXA
PLAYER POST GAME: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52SYaJ0p2o
#8 VIRGINIA 63 #22 NORTH CAROLINA STATE 50
#21 UCONN 87 #10 MARQUETTE 72
#12 KANSAS STATE 82 #17 TCU 61
BUTLER 68 ST. JOHN’S 66
BALL STATE 65 CENTRAL MICHIGAN 51
KENT STATE 87 BOWLING GREEN 64
TOLEDO 84 AKRON 74
MIAMI OHIO 85 WESTERN MICHIGAN 78
BUFFALO 102 EASTERN MICHIGAN 97
OHIO 82 NORTHERN ILLINOIS 76
OLE MISS 78 GEORGIA 74
TEXAS A&M 83 AUBURN 78
PITTSBURGH 91 LOUISVILLE 57
TULANE 101 CINCINNATI 94 OT
DAYTON 62 VCU 58
WAKE FOREST 92 NORTH CAROLINA 85
COLORADO STATE 69 AIR FORCE 53
ARKANSAS 88 KENTUCKY 73
MISSOURI 83 SOUTH CAROLINA 74
MICHIGAN STATE 63 MARYLAND 58
ST. LOUIS 76 RHODE ISLAND 71
FRESNO STATE 70 SAN JOSE STATE 62
NEVADA 77 NEW MEXICO 76
COMPLETE SCOREBOARD: HTTP://HOSTED.STATS.COM/CBK/SCOREBOARD.ASP?CONF=-1&DAY=20230207
WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
#16 OKLAHOMA 98 BAYLOR 92 OT
CLEVELAND STATE 88 CHICAGO STATE 49
CREIGHTON 77 SEASON HALL 64
OKLAHOMA STATE 76 WEST VIRGINIA 65
SMU 81 TULSA 58
NEW YORK 102 ORLANDO 98
NEW ORLEANS 116 ATLANTA 107
PHOENIX 116 BROOKLYN 112
MEMPHIS 104 CHICAGO 89
DENVER 146 MINNESOTA 112
OKLAHOMA CITY 133 LA LAKERS 130
BOX SCORES: HTTP://HOSTED.STATS.COM/NBA/SCOREBOARD.ASP
SAN JOSE 4 TAMPA BAY 3
PITTSBURGH 2 COLORADO 1
EDMONTON 5 DETROIT 2
NY ISLANDERS 4 SEATTLE 0
VEGAS 5 NASHVILLE 1
ANAHEIM 3 CHICAGO 2
BOX SCORES: HTTP://HOSTED.STATS.COM/NHL/SCOREBOARD.ASP
TOP NATIONAL HEADLINES
AP SOURCE: 49ERS HIRE STEVE WILKS AS DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) The San Francisco 49ers are hiring former Carolina interim head coach Steve Wilks as their new defensive coordinator.
A person familiar with the choice said Tuesday that Wilks will fill the void created when DeMeco Ryans was hired as head coach in Houston. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the hiring hadn’t been announced.
NFL Network first reported that Wilks got the job.
Wilks is a longtime defensive backs coach in the NFL and has served as defensive coordinator in Cleveland and Carolina before becoming interim coach for the Panthers this season. He also was head coach for one season in Arizona but was fired after going 3-13 in 2018.
Wilks joined the Panthers staff in 2022 and took over as coach after Matt Rhule was fired following a 1-4 start to the season.
Wilks got Carolina back in contention in the NFC South by going 6-6 but the Panthers were eliminated from playoff contention after blowing an 11-point fourth-quarter lead to Tampa Bay in Week 17.
Wilks was a candidate for the full-time job in Carolina that instead went to Frank Reich. Now Wilks has a shot at running the NFL’s best defense from the 2022 season with hopes of using that as a stepping stone to a head coach job the way Ryans and predecessor Robert Saleh did.
San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan was looking for a coordinator who would keep as many defensive assistants as possible and run a similar system to the one that was so successful under Ryans.
“I’m trying to get something where we don’t have to turn much over,” Shanahan said last week. “Whichever way we decide to go, whether we bring in a new guy or not, that it’s someone who can work with who we have and what we’ve accomplished here because I love the scheme that we run and I feel the foundation we have on the D-line, at linebacker, at corner, at safety, I think our players fit very well in it too, so I’m hoping to find someone who fits with us personality-wise and scheme-wise.”
The Niners led the NFL in points allowed (16.3 per game), yards allowed (300.6 per game) and were tied for second in takeaways (30).
The defense has All-Pros at all three levels led by defensive end Nick Bosa, linebacker Fred Warner and safety Talanoa Hufanga. That trio is supported by defensive tackle Arik Armstead, linebacker Dre Greenlaw and cornerback Charvarius Ward, who are all under contract for 2023.
TITANS PROMOTE KELLY TO COORDINATOR, HIRE 1ST FEMALE COACH
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Tennessee Titans coach Mike Vrabel has shaken up his coaching staff and announced Tuesday that he promoted Tim Kelly to offensive coordinator from passing game coordinator.
Vrabel also announced several new hirings and changes to his existing staff.
The Titans added Charles London from Atlanta to replace Kelly, hired last year as the passing game coordinator, as the new pass game coordinator and quarterbacks coach; Chris Harris is the new defensive passing game coordinator and cornerbacks coach.
Vrabel also has hired the franchise’s first full-time female coaching assistant, adding Lori Locust as defensive quality control coach from Tampa Bay along with Justin Hamilton in the same position.
Tony Dews is switching from coaching running backs and two-time NFL rushing leader Derrick Henry to tight ends, while Luke Steckel moves from coaching tight ends to the Titans’ new run game analyst. Quarterbacks coach Pat O’Hara now is the passing game analyst.
Jason Houghtaling takes over as offensive line coach. Tennessee still must hire a running backs coach.
Kelly replaces Todd Downing, who was fired after two seasons. Before joining the Titans for the 2022 season, Kelly worked with the Houston Texans between 2014 and 2021 with the last three seasons as offensive coordinator.
He played in college at Eastern Illinois at defensive tackle and went into coaching as an assistant graduate at Illinois Wesleyan in 2008. He spent 2010 at Minnesota State-Moorhead, 2011 at Ball State as a graduate assistant and 2012-2013 at Penn State in the same role.
London spent the past two seasons coaching quarterbacks in Atlanta for former Tennessee offensive coordinator and now Falcons head coach Arthur Smith. The Titans had their best offensive production in 2020 in Smith’s last season as coordinator. London interviewed last month for Washington’s offensive coordinator vacancy.
Harris played eight seasons in the NFL and has spent the past nine as a coach. He spent the past three seasons coaching Washington’s defensive backs. He also has coached with the Chargers and started as a coach in 2013 with Chicago where Harris started his NFL career in 2005.
Locust spent the past four seasons as assistant defensive line coach for Tampa Bay, including the Buccaneers’ Super Bowl victory in the 2020 season. She was an assistant defensive line coach in the Alliance of American Football and a coaching intern with the Baltimore Ravens during their 2018 training camp.
MAHOMES, HURTS BUOY SUPER BOWL TEAMS AMID QB INJURY SPATE
It matters that Patrick Mahomes is spectacularly talented, of course. Might matter just as much that he is almost always available for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Same goes for the Philadelphia Eagles and Jalen Hurts.
Those are big reasons the Chiefs and Eagles will meet in the Super Bowl — with AP NFL MVP and Offensive Player of the Year finalists Mahomes and Hurts taking the snaps — on Sunday in Glendale, Arizona. Sure, the San Francisco 49ers nearly managed to make it all the way to the championship game with a last-pick-of-the-draft rookie bumped all the way up to starter from No. 3 on the depth chart because of injuries to others. But then Brock Purdy hurt his elbow in the NFC title game at Philadelphia, leaving the Niners to try to rely on journeyman Josh Johnson, until he got a concussion … meaning Purdy needed to go back in … despite being unable to throw.
“That,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said, “was kind of just hard to stomach.”
This season revealed, like never before, a glaring amount of instability at quarterback in the NFL, whether because of injury — the reason for nearly half of all changes during the regular season, according to an AP analysis — or poor performance. A total of 68 QBs started at least one game, an average of more than two per team and a record for a non-strike year.
What’s more: 13 clubs, another high, needed to use at least three starters at the most important position in this, or any, sport. Some even turned to four — with the Arizona Cardinals using that many starting quarterbacks in a span of just four weeks.
Quarterback shuffling can go a long way toward altering a team’s trajectory, as the Jets, Titans and Panthers found out on their way to missing the playoffs. The Dolphins made the postseason despite losing Tua Tagovailoa to a series of concussions, then had backup Teddy Bridgewater dislocate his pinky, leaving them with third-string rookie Skylar Thompson and his 18-for-45, two-interception performance in their wild-card elimination.
“When you, as a defender, see a guy at quarterback who has not played a lot, you are going to lick your chops and you assume he’s not going to be in rhythm and you assume he’s not going to be ready to go,” Hall of Fame defensive back Ronnie Lott said. “Our coach, Bill Walsh, basically said, ‘Hey, Ronnie, a team’s only as good as the backup quarterback, because if the backup quarterback can’t come in and do the things he needs to be able to do, a team is going to be in trouble.’”
And keeping the starter upright is almost always needed for success.
The top five regular-season teams in the AFC, including the Chiefs, had their No. 1 QB available for every regular-season game (and when Mahomes did leave a playoff game with a bad ankle, Chad Henne came in and delivered, leading a 98-yard TD drive in what turned out to be a seven-point victory).
In all, nine of the 14 participants in the postseason never had to turn to a backup QB to start.
The Eagles came close: Hurts missed two games with a bad shoulder; Philadelphia went 0-2 with Gardner Minshew in his place.
Seems obvious: Having your preferred QB1 available week after week makes your offense more likely to succeed. And that makes your team more likely to win.
Consider that the passer rating for QBs slated to be starters was about 10 points higher than for replacements. Or look at the Jacksonville Jaguars and Trevor Lawrence: He stuck around for 17 games and closed with five wins in a row — three against the QB-troubled Jets or Titans — to earn a playoff spot.
“It’s certainly key, just because everybody continues to gel. You get the chemistry together. The receivers know, ‘If I run this route on this step, the ball is going to be thrown to this point, just because we’ve done it a million times,’” Jaguars offensive coordinator Press Taylor said. “You can understand how (an injury absence) throws guys off.”
Backup quarterbacks generally get zero practice time with the rest of the first-team offense during the season, so when the top choice at that spot is removed, there can be growing pains. Purdy was an exception, of course, and there have been others.
“Sometimes when a quarterback goes down,” Cowboys guard Zack Martin said, “there’s kind of a sense of panic in the locker room and on the team, like, ‘What are we going to do?’”
Some of the season’s dominant story lines involved sidelined QBs, from Miami’s Tagovailoa to Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson to the reigning Super Bowl champion Rams’ Matthew Stafford, or efforts via officiating to protect them, whether the outcry among defenders over roughing-the-passer calls or the 15-yard penalty on Bengals defensive end Joseph Ossai for shoving an out-of-bounds Mahomes that helped KC get into position for the winning field goal in the AFC title game.
Lowering the number of quarterback injuries is “obviously a major priority for us,” said Troy Vincent, the NFL’s executive vice president of football operations. “It’s critical that we examine … where they’re coming from. Are they legal hits? Are they in the pocket? Out of the pocket?”
Increased impatience when it comes to wins and losses accounts for some of the switching — the same sort of itchiness that leads to first-year coaches getting fired.
But it seems to always come back to injuries.
One potential cause: Rushing attempts by signal-callers reached a record high (2,309) and were also at their most per game, up 47% from 2012. That increases the opportunities to get hurt. Another: The 1,297 total sacks around the NFL were the third most ever and the average of 4.8 per game was the third-highest over the last nine years. (As an aside, Mahomes and Hurts might want to watch out on Super Sunday: The Eagles ranked No. 1, the Chiefs No. 2, in sacks.)
It’s certainly possible, or at least plausible, that whatever the NFL does to try to keep quarterbacks safe isn’t working — and, truly, can’t work.
“At this point, you’re hoping,” Lott said, “your quarterback can withstand the pounding.”
The 49ers under Shanahan are Exhibit A: The team kept one quarterback healthy only once in his six seasons — in 2019, when they just so happened to reach the Super Bowl.
They went through at least three starters in four of the last six seasons; this time, Trey Lance broke an ankle while running in Week 2 and Jimmy Garoppolo broke his foot on a sack in Week 13.
“It’s awesome,” star tight end George Kittle said sarcastically. “It’s an experience. I just have a plethora of quarterbacks to choose from.”
The rash of injuries for the 49ers and others raises the question of whether the league should bring back some form of the 1991-2010 rule that let teams have a third QB in uniform who would not count against the game-day roster limit and would be available in an emergency.
“We were scared to death when that rule ended, but you kind of forget about it, since you just don’t see anyone have to go through it,” Shanahan said. “But then you get reminded of how quickly a football game is over once that happens.”
The NFL’s Vincent said there have been “multiple discussions” about restoring the third quarterback rule, and the general manager advisory committee “is considering” putting it before the full membership.
“What you don’t want is Christian McCaffrey playing quarterback,” Lott said, referring to the 49ers’ do-everything running back. “With all due respect — he’s a hell of an athlete, but he needs to be where he is most effective, and that is running and catching the ball, not playing quarterback.”
REVOLVING DOOR AT QB RUINED SEASON FOR JETS, OTHER NFL TEAMS
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — The New York Jets’ season began with aging Joe Flacco starting at quarterback. It ended the same way.
And that was the problem.
Well, along with all of the other switching, struggling, injuries and inconsistency at QB in between.
It sent what appeared to be a Jets squad on the brink of ending the NFL’s longest active playoff drought to a 7-10 record, more disappointment and offseason uncertainty. One pivotal area — as it was for other clubs that fell short, such as the Tennessee Titans and Carolina Panthers — was quarterback.
“It’s the head of the snake,” Jets coach Robert Saleh said. “And if you’re not getting consistent play or consistent movement from the head of the snake, it’s not going to be good.”
It certainly wasn’t for the Jets, who were downright snakebit — just as some say they’ve been since Joe Namath delivered the franchise its only Super Bowl title after the 1968 season.
New York made five changes at quarterback: Flacco to Zach Wilson to Mike White, back to Wilson, back to White, back to Flacco.
The Jets certainly weren’t alone with that sort of revolving door: NFL teams combined to start 68 quarterbacks — the most in the Super Bowl era in a non-strike year. A league-record 13 teams used three or more starting QBs. In contrast, nine of 14 playoff teams had their preferred starter available for every game.
Like the Jets, Tennessee and Carolina went 7-10.
The Titans were 12-5 and the No. 1 seed in the AFC last season, when Ryan Tannehill started every game at quarterback. This season? He missed five starts overall after injuring his right ankle in late October and then again in December, so playing time went to rookie Malik Willis and little-used veteran Josh Dobbs, contributing to a fall from 7-3 and first place in the AFC South to a seven-game skid.
Not a coincidence.
“This is a quarterback-driven league, and people are hired and fired every day over that position,” new Titans GM Ran Carthon said. “I want to spend more time evaluating that position.”
The Panthers went through a trio of starting QBs — Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold and P.J. Walker — and all three missed time because of ankle or foot injuries. That’s aside from rookie Matt Corral, who was lost in the preseason with — yes, you guessed it — a foot injury. The Panthers fired coach Matt Rhule after a 1-4 start before making a late playoff push under interim coach Steve Wilks. He was cast aside for new hire Frank Reich, who might take a QB with the draft’s No. 9 pick.
“Quarterback is, I stand by, the most important position in all sports,” Jets general manager Joe Douglas said. “But ultimately, it’s a team sport and you have to have a great group of people around them to support them.”
Tough to do when quarterback is the weak link.
Flacco, now 38, started the first three games while Wilson sat with a preseason knee injury. Wilson, the No. 2 overall pick in 2021, had a few good moments overshadowed by plenty of bad over the next seven games.
Still, the Jets were 6-4 and in the playoff hunt with a top defense and AP Rookie of the Year finalists in cornerback Sauce Gardner and receiver Garrett Wilson.
But the season spiraled from there. Zach Wilson got benched, and White delivered a slight spark before being sidelined with broken ribs. After Zach Wilson returned for two games, White gave it another shot, but aggravated his injury.
New York went back to Flacco and the season ended with six losses in a row — and a franchise-record 12th consecutive year without the playoffs.
“We’ve all had a long wait: 54 years from the last Super Bowl is too long,” owner Woody Johnson said. “Way too long. I’d like to change that fast.”
With the Jets among the league’s worst offenses for two seasons and Zach Wilson failing to develop as expected, offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur was fired. He was replaced by Nathaniel Hackett, who didn’t make it through one season as Denver’s head coach but is tasked with jumpstarting New York’s offense after Saleh interviewed more than 15 candidates.
Now the focus becomes quarterback. And Johnson said he’s “absolutely” willing to pay big bucks for a franchise-type QB.
“We’ve got a (salary) cap, so you’ve got an amount you can spend,” Johnson said. “But yeah, that’s kind of the missing piece.”
Has been since those glory days of Broadway Joe.
EAGLES GM HOWIE ROSEMAN AGAIN SHOWS HIS RESILIENCE
PHOENIX (AP) — The “Howie! Howie! Howie” chants at the team’s send-off party in Philadelphia followed Eagles general manager Howie Roseman to Super Bowl opening night.
They were yelling obscenities at Roseman not too long ago.
The once-exiled executive who was cast aside for Chip Kelly for a year and returned to lead the Eagles to the franchise’s only Super Bowl title is back again after hitting rock bottom in 2020.
The Eagles (16-3) are one win away from their second Super Bowl title in five years under Roseman’s leadership. They have to beat former coach Andy Reid, Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs (16-3) to hoist the Lombardi Trophy again.
“You guys have a job to do. Whether I agree or not, that’s the nature of the beast,” Roseman said of the intense criticism he received in Philadelphia in 2020. “It’s a moment to moment league. We had a terrible moment. In that moment, in this market, people pile on. It’s just the nature of it. I’ve been through it before. I understand it. At the end of the day, it’s my job to turn it around as quickly as possible. That’s what we’re trying to do here.”
Roseman, who began his NFL career as a non-paid summer intern in 2000 and rose to youngest general manager in the league at age 34 in 2010, lost control of personnel decisions in a power struggle with Kelly in 2015. Kelly got fired after he bombed and Roseman regained his role as GM and executive vice president a year later.
After the Eagles beat the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl after the 2017 season, All-Pro center Jason Kelce mentioned Roseman’s journey in his famous speech at the team’s victory parade.
“Howie Roseman, a few years ago, was relinquished of all control pretty much in this organization,” Kelce screamed to the crowd while wearing a costume donned by folks who strut in Philadelphia’s Mummers Parade on New Year’s Day. “He was put in the side of the building where I didn’t see him for over a year! Two years ago, when they made a decision, he came out of there a different man. He came out of there with a purpose and a drive to make this possible. And I saw a different Howie Roseman. An underdog.”
Roseman’s honeymoon in Philly didn’t last long despite the team going to the playoffs the next two seasons. He was chastised for drafting wide receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside ahead of DK Metcalf in the second round in 2019. It got worse when the Eagles took wideout Jalen Reagor one pick ahead of Justin Jefferson in the first round in 2020. Roseman didn’t get any credit for selecting Jalen Hurts in the second round that year because the Eagles already had Carson Wentz and most people thought they had needs bigger than a backup quarterback.
So when the Eagles went 4-11-1 in 2020, Roseman was excoriated in Philly. Doug Pederson was fired just three years after coaching the team to the Super Bowl victory. Wentz was traded and Nick Sirianni was hired. That wasn’t popular, either.
Now, Sirianni is the toast of the town, Hurts is an MVP finalist and nobody cares about Reagor/Jefferson because Roseman drafted DeVonta Smith and acquired A.J. Brown in a trade.
“I hope it doesn’t happen again in five years but if we’re playing in the Super Bowl I’ll take it,” Roseman said when reminded he’s answering the same questions now that he heard in Minnesota before the Eagles appeared in their last Super Bowl.
Ten of Philadelphia’s 11 starters on offense are players Roseman drafted. So much for those blunders.
“There’s so much I wanna say,” Roseman said with a smile. “At the end of the day, I don’t think that we’re at this moment of reflection or talking about anything we’ve done. We’re just trying to win a game quite honestly. We like that we have homegrown players. That’s the key to success. You wanna draft well, you want to re-sign your own guys. Obviously, we’ve supplemented them with some free agents on defense. But when you look at offense, you’ve always had this theory that it’s easier to grow an offense together and it’s easier to bring in defensive players that are free agents or through trades.”
Roseman made all the right moves last offseason, from a trade with the Saints to acquire more draft capital to acquiring Brown and signing edge rusher Haason Reddick and cornerback James Bradberry.
“We thought we had an opportunity to be really great,” owner Jeffrey Lurie said about signing off on Roseman’s personnel decisions.
BROWNS’ GARRETT: ‘ALL GOOD’ AFTER HURTING TOE AT PRO BOWL
CLEVELAND (AP) — Myles Garrett’s injured toe does not need surgery after the Cleveland Browns defensive end dislocated it during Pro Bowl events last weekend.
Garrett got hurt while racing Carolina defensive end Brian Burns through an obstacle course in Las Vegas as part of the Pro Bowl’s reimagined festivities. Garrett limped off the field and sat down on the turf to check his injury.
The Browns said X-rays were negative. Garrett’s toe popped back into place and the team doesn’t expect him to have any issues.
Garrett posted on Twitter that he’s OK.
“Appreciate everyone checking in,” Garrett wrote. “We are all good over here. Go Browns.”
The 27-year-old Garrett tied his team single-season record with 16 sacks last season despite playing with a shoulder sprain and biceps strain sustained when he crashed his car following a practice in late September.
Garrett, the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2017, has 74 1/2 sacks in six NFL seasons.
The Browns are expected to upgrade their defensive front during free agency. Cleveland’s defense has already undergone a major change with Jim Schwartz taking over as coordinator following the firing of Joe Woods after the season finale in Pittsburgh.
RAMS OC MIKE LAFLEUR EAGER TO PROVIDE SUPPORT FOR MCVAY
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Mike LaFleur is going to wait until he’s found a new house and new schools for his kids before he worries about how to make Sean McVay’s stressful job easier with the Los Angeles Rams.
The Rams’ new offensive coordinator is still eager to do right by McVay in their first chance to coach together.
“Right now my mind is totally into, let’s finish the staff, and then let’s get to know these players,” LaFleur said Tuesday. “Let’s figure out what our roster is going to be moving forward, and then let’s get the foundation of what this 2023 Rams offense is going to be. And then whatever happens in August through December, I’m going to be there to support and do my part.”
LaFleur said talks about any specific coaching duties are “on the back burner” while the Rams flesh out their support staff and while LaFleur’s family settles, but he is eager to embrace whatever responsibilities McVay is willing to give to him.
McVay clearly values LaFleur’s smarts and experience, particularly from his long history alongside Kyle Shanahan before LaFleur spent the past two years in charge of the New York Jets’ offense. But LaFleur isn’t likely to be the Rams’ play-caller, since McVay has shown no interest in giving up that job even while lamenting his inability to delegate responsibility during his public struggles with burnout over the past three off seasons.
“It was a pretty simple decision” to join McVay with the Rams, LaFleur said Tuesday. “You’re going into an organization that knows how to win, wants to win, has the right system and process and culture in place to win. And to be able to do it with great people, not just Sean, but the rest of the staff … what more could you ask for?”
LaFleur was one year out of college when his older brother, Matt, first told him about McVay, an upstart 24-year-old trying to join Matt on the Washington coaching staff.
“I’ll never forget, they interviewed him in Washington for the quality control job, and I remember my brother calling me up and (saying) he was awesome, and he kept on,” Mike LaFleur said with a smile. “I was like, how good can this QC truly be, especially (when) he’s as young as I am? And now I think we all know what he was talking about.”
Mike LaFleur met McVay for the first time later that year, and they’ve kept up a professional friendship for the past 13 years. They’ll finally work together for the first time in Los Angeles after LaFleur became McVay’s fourth offensive coordinator in seven years with the Rams — and that includes two seasons when Los Angeles didn’t have a formal offensive coordinator.
LaFleur parted ways with the Jets last month shortly after the end of his second season as Robert Saleh’s offensive coordinator. His first experience running an NFL offense wasn’t always smooth, but LaFleur believes the experience he gained far outweighed the bad times.
“I won’t pass those two years up for anything,” LaFleur said. “We decided two years ago we were going to go young, and we did, and we committed to that. There was things I won’t share in terms of what I would do differently, but it was a great learning experience about building a roster with a lot of youth. I was proud of a lot of things we did, and unfortunately it slipped away from us on the back end, but fortunately I’m in a great situation here.”
Some of the Jets’ problems came down to poor quarterback play, but LaFleur is now joining an offense run by Matthew Stafford, a proven 14-year veteran and a Super Bowl champion.
LaFleur wasn’t about to publicly compare Stafford to the likes of Zach Wilson, Joe Flacco or Mike White, but he knows his new job will be a whole lot easier when Stafford is healthy.
“It’s going to be fun,” LaFleur said. “Coaches can teach players a lot of things, but in more instances, players can teach coaches a lot of things, too. I’m excited to get working with (Stafford), learn from him, and whatever I can provide for him, I’m going to do. I can’t wait to start building that relationship with him.”
RODGERS GOING ON ‘DARKNESS RETREAT’ BEFORE MAKING FINAL DECISION ON FUTURE
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers plans to do some unique isolation and reflection before deciding on his NFL future.
The four-time MVP highlighted the importance of an upcoming “darkness retreat” as he continues to mull over whether he wants to return to the Packers for a 19th season, retire, or request a trade.
“It’s just sitting in isolation, meditation, dealing with your thoughts,” Rodgers said Tuesday during his weekly appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show,” per ESPN’s Rob Demovsky.
“It stimulates DMT, so there can be some hallucinations in there, but it’s just kind of sitting in silence, which most of us never do. We rarely even turn our phone off or put the blinds down to sleep in darkness. I’m really looking forward to it.”
He added, “Just to be able to contemplate all things (about) my future and then make a decision that I feel like is best for me moving forward and in the highest interest of my happiness.”
The 10-time Pro Bowler also addressed speculation that he could be joining the Las Vegas Raiders for the 2023 season.
“I’m not a free agent,” the 39-year-old said. “I’m under contract with the Packers … that gets lost in the conversation.”
Raiders star wideout Davante Adams called a reunion with Rodgers “a dream scenario,” according to Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
The Packers dealt with some turmoil this season after Rodgers recorded back-to-back MVP campaigns in 2020 and 2021. Green Bay’s signal-caller was hampered with a thumb injury while playing without Adams for the first time since 2014.
Green Bay concluded the 2022 season with an 8-9 record, missing the postseason as Rodgers threw double-digit interceptions for the first time since 2010 and finished with one of his lowest passer ratings (91.1) since becoming a starter.
Rodgers won the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am this past weekend.
AP SOURCES: DEREK CARR TO VISIT SAINTS ON WEDNESDAY
(AP) — Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr will visit the New Orleans Saints on Wednesday, two people with knowledge of the situation said Tuesday.
The people spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to comment publicly. One person termed the visit as “exploratory in nature.”
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network was the first to report Carr’s trip.
Saints coach Dennis Allen was the Raiders’ coach when the club selected Carr in the second round of the 2014 draft out of Fresno State. Allen coached Carr for only four games before he was fired that year.
If the Saints and Raiders agree to a deal, they have until Feb. 15 to work out the details. That’s when Carr’s contract will become guaranteed and he will be owed $40.4 million over the next two years.
The Raiders could release Carr if no trade agreement is reached, which would make him a free agent. New Orleans or another team could wait to see if that happens and try to lure Carr, who turns 32 on March 28, on the open market.
Even if a trade agreement is reached before the deadline, a team could renege because no deal can become official until March 15. Carr said last week he would not extend the deadline to facilitate a trade, and sounded content about the possibility of becoming a free agent.
“I’m just looking for teams that have made that decision consistently that they’ll do whatever it takes to put a winning program out there,” Carr said then. “So for me, that’s just to win, win a championship. That’s at the forefront of the mind. It’s not money.”
Carr played nine seasons for the Raiders and holds club records for yards passing (35,222) and touchdown passes (217). But he never won a playoff game. And after struggling late in the season, Carr was benched with two games remaining.
Jameis Winston is under contract with Saints through 2023, but New Orleans is expected to release him. His contract calls for a base salary of $12.8 million next season and he played in just three games in 2022 before losing his job – in part because of a back injury – to Andy Dalton.
Winston, who was hurt in Week 1, tried to continue playing in Weeks 2 and 3, when he threw five interceptions and was sacked seven times while passing for just two TDs.
When Winston asserted he was healthy enough to play again and wanted another chance, the Saints stuck with Dalton, who completed 66.7% of his passes for 2,871 yards with 18 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 14 starts.
Dalton, 35 and a 12-year NFL veteran, is due to be a free agent this offseason.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL NEWS
AP SOURCES: MIAMI HIRING LANCE GUIDRY FROM TULANE AS DC
(AP) — Miami is hiring Lance Guidry, who was defensive coordinator at Marshall last season and recently accepted the same position at Tulane, to lead its defense, two people with knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
The people spoke on condition of anonymity because a deal was still being finalized between Guidry and Miami.
ESPN first reported Miami was expected to hire Guidry as its defensive coordinator.
The 51-year-old Louisiana native was hired way from Marshall by Tulane just last month. Now he’ll replace Kevin Steele on Mario Cristobal’s staff at Miami. Steele is reportedly on his way to Alabama to become Nick Saban’s defensive coordinator after holding that position for one season with the Hurricanes.
Alabama has yet to make the hiring of Steele and offensive coordinator Tommy Rees official. Rees had been assistant at Notre Dame.
Tulane announced the hiring of Guidry on Jan. 23 to replace Chris Hampton, who left the New Orleans-based school to join Oregon’s staff as an assistant coach.
Guidry’s defenses at Marshall ranked third in the nation in yards per play this season (4.56) and 26th nationally in 2021 (5.14 ypp).
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
FORWARD MAWOT MAG TO MISS REST OF SEASON FOR NO. 24 RUTGERS
PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) Junior forward Mawot Mag will miss the rest of the season for No. 24 Rutgers after tearing the ACL in his right knee.
Rutgers announced the injury Tuesday, hours before the Scarlet Knights were to play at No. 18 Indiana. Mag was hurt Saturday in the first half of a game against Michigan State, a 61-55 win.
Mag, who was born in Melbourne, Australia, started every game for Rutgers this season, averaging 7.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and a steal. His best performance came in an overtime win over Ohio State when he scored a career-high 15 points and added a late 3-pointer to give the Scarlet Knights breathing room in a 68-64 decision.
Aundre Hyatt, a junior who has been averaging 9.4 points and 4.2 rebounds off the bench, is expected to replace Mag in the starting lineup.
“We’re going to miss Mawot greatly,” coach Steve Pikiell said. “He’s a high-energy player, a veteran presence and the ultimate glue-guy. He’s one of our best team defenders and one of our best offensive rebounders. There’s not a better person in our program.”
SCORING KING: JAMES PASSES ABDUL-JABBAR FOR NBA POINTS MARK
(AP) — LeBron James got the first official statistic of his NBA career on a rebound. His next entry on the stat sheet was an assist.
Even then, points weren’t the priority. They never were.
Somehow, he became the most prolific scorer in NBA history anyway. It finally happened Tuesday night, the kid from Akron, Ohio, connecting on a stepback jumper to push his career total to 38,388 points and break the record that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar held for nearly 39 years.
James outstretched his arms after his 36th point of the night for the Los Angeles Lakers, threw both hands in the air, then smiled. Abdul-Jabbar rose from his seat and clapped. The game was stopped as members of James’ family, including his mother, his wife and their three children, took the floor for a ceremony recognizing the moment.
“It’s never gotten my juices flowing,” James told The Associated Press, when asked what the scoring record means to him. “I’m there now because I never, ever thought about it. The only thing I ever thought about was winning championships, maybe a couple MVPs, maybe defensive player of the year. But scoring championships and records, I’m telling you, that was never on my mind.”
Abdul-Jabbar – a longtime Laker and one of many celebrities and sports stars who made sure they were there to see history – became the league’s all-time leading scorer on April 5, 1984 and wound up retiring in 1989 with 38,387 points. It was a record that some thought would last forever, with very few even coming close. Karl Malone retired 1,459 points behind Abdul-Jabbar, Kobe Bryant was 4,744 points shy, and Michael Jordan was 6,095 points away.
James passed them all, then caught Abdul-Jabbar, too. The 38-year-old – who finished with 38 points in the Lakers’ 133-130 loss – did it in his 20th season. Abdul-Jabbar also played 20 NBA seasons.
“You’ve got to give him credit for just the way that he planned to last and to dominate,” Abdul-Jabbar told TNT.
And now, King James – a moniker he’s had since high school, when he was just a kid from Akron – is the NBA’s scoring king, with 38,390 points and counting.
“A record that has stood for nearly 40 years, which many people thought would never be broken,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said.
Abdul-Jabbar held the ball aloft, then handed it to James, the ceremonial passing of the torch. They posed for photos with Silver, then with one another. James wiped away tears from his eyes, then addressed the crowd.
“I just want to say, thank you to the Laker faithful. You guys are one of a kind,” James said. “To be able to be in the presence of such a legend as great as Kareem, it’s very humbling. Please give a standing ovation to the Captain, please.”
James then thanked his family and those who have supported him, including Silver and the late NBA Commissioner David Stern.
“I thank you guys so much for allowing me to be a part of something I’ve always dreamed about,” James said.
At least 16 different players have, technically, been the all-time leading scorer in league history – most of those coming in the opening month of the league’s existence in 1946, when everybody was starting from zero and nine different players were atop the scoring list in the first 16 days.
But only six have ended a season officially as the all-time leader: Joe Fulks, George Mikan, Dolph Schayes, Bob Pettit, Wilt Chamberlain and Abdul-Jabbar.
James will be the seventh name on that list, and he’s likely to stay there for a long time. No active player is within 10,000 points of James, who is under contract for two more years and is on pace to become the league’s first 40,000-point scorer sometime next season.
“Nobody will ever, ever touch it,” said Cleveland forward Kevin Love, a teammate of James on the 2016 title team. “The scoring record now will never be eclipsed. I don’t care. It will never, ever be touched. It will never happen again.”
James could have had the scoring record long ago, if so inclined. But he always preferred passing. James is behind only John Stockton, Jason Kidd and Chris Paul on the all-time assists list. None of them were, or are, close to the scorer that James is. Of that group, Paul comes closest, ranking 38th in NBA history.
And Paul is 17,000 points behind the new scoring king.
“I hadn’t thought of it that way, but that is very true,” Silver told AP in advance of the record-setting night. “I think it even adds – right? – to this this accomplishment for a guy who became a scorer because he determined that’s what was necessary to win. And you’re right, he probably doesn’t get enough credit for his selfless play, because there’s so much focus and attention on him. … I think it makes it that much more special, that he’d rather be known for his assists than his baskets.”
James is the only member of the NBA’s triple-quintuple club: at least 10,000 points, 10,000 rebounds and 10,000 assists. There are 44 players to reach five digits in two of those categories.
He’ll almost certainly be the NBA’s all-time leader in earnings whenever he retires; when adding in the $97 million he’ll make over the next two seasons, he’ll be past $500 million in on-court salary alone. He’s a 19-time All-Star selection, tying an Abdul-Jabbar record. If he plays in the game on Feb. 19 in Salt Lake City, he’ll set a record for appearances.
Others, maybe, have been this good. That’s always a debate. But no one has ever been this good, for this long. James – a two-time champion in Miami, a champion in Cleveland in 2016 and a champion with the Lakers in 2020 – is averaging 30 points per game in his 20th season; only three other players have averaged more than 10 points per game this deep into their careers, none of those averaging more than Bryant’s 17.6 in his 20th and final season.
“I never did the, `OK, if I play this amount of time and I average this’ thing,” James said. “I’ve never done that with anything in my career. I always said, `If it happens, it happens.'”
INGRAM SCORES 30, PELICANS DOWN HAWKS FOR 3RD STRAIGHT WIN
NEW ORLEANS (AP) Brandon Ingram scored 30 points, CJ McCollum added 21 and the New Orleans Pelicans defeated the Atlanta Hawks 116-107 on Tuesday night for their third straight victory.
“Brandon, it’s a difference when he’s on the floor. He’s one of the best players in the game and we’re seeing it over and over,” Pelicans coach Willie Green said. “He’s starting to find his rhythm and when he does, he’s a tough cover.”
Ingram has played in five games since sitting out about two months with a left big toe injury. He’s scored at least 30 in each of his past two games, both Pelicans victories.
“I’m able to get my legs under me a little bit and figure out different things,” Ingram said. “I’m able to score the basketball, but I’m also able to look for the best shot on the floor.”
Ingram “sets the table for his teammates,” Green said, mentioning Ingram’s eight assists. “He’s doing a great job of getting to space and then attacking, getting to the paint, getting to the free-throw line, pulling up for his mid-range shots.”
Jonas Valanciunas, returning from a one-game absence because of a sore right quadriceps muscle, had 16 points and 14 rebounds for New Orleans.
“They won the hustle game,” Hawks coach Nate McMillan said. “Every loose ball, every long rebound, it seemed like they got and we just seemed to be a step slow throughout the night.”
The Pelicans led 111-95 when Trey Murphy III hit his fourth 3-pointer of the game with 3:24 to go.
Atlanta responded with seven straight points to cut the Pelicans’ lead to nine with 1:49 left. Ingram briefly broke up the run with a driving layup in traffic. But John Collins hit a turnaround and Trae Young hit a 3 from 29 feet to make it a two-possession game with 43 seconds left.
Atlanta then fouled Herb Jones, who hit two free throws and then blocked Bogdan Bogdanovic’s 3-pointer to help the Pelicans hold on.
“I knew they wanted to get 3,” said Jones, who finished with 11 points, nine rebounds and three steals. “When I saw him going to his shot, I just did what I always do.”
Murphy scored 16 points for the Pelicans, whose current winning streak has come on the heels of a 10-game skid.
“We’re learning that we have the ability to navigate adversity,” Green said. “We do it together. We stay connected. We don’t point fingers and we just grind it out.”
Bogdanovic scored 22 points for Atlanta. Dejounte Murray, who played despite being listed as questionable with a migraine earlier in the day, scored 19.
“This is a tough team, a tough place to win,” Bogdanovic said. “They’re finding their groove back and now they’re different than a couple games ago.
“I’m proud of the way we fight. We found the energy to fight,” Bogdanovic added. “I’m not happy the way we finished the road trip.”
Young had 16 points and 16 assists, and Collins finished with 15 points.
Atlanta missed its first six shots and trailed 12-2 before recovering to tie the game at 23 on Young’s 3-pointer late in the first quarter.
The game remained close for the rest of the half, and the Pelicans led 62-59 at halftime after McCollum hit a 3-pointers on consecutive possessions.
Hawks: Closed out their road trip at 2-3. … Had 30 assists, giving them at least 25 in five straight games, the team’s longest such streak this season. … De’Andre Hunter, who came in having scored at least 10 points in 16 straight, had three points.
Pelicans: All-Star forward Zion Williamson (right hamstring) missed his 19th straight game. Green said Williamson continued to be “day to day” and that it was unclear whether he would play before the All-Star break. … Outscored Atlanta in the paint, 56-40. … Converted 13 offensive rebounds into 22 second-chance points.
McCollum made an off-balance, double-pump 3 as the shot clock ran out in the fourth quarter.
“In this game, you need a little luck to win,” Ingram said. “Of course, he’s a good 3-point shooter, but I don’t think we would imagine that one going in.”
Added Murphy: “Yeah, I haven’t seen him practice that one.”
Hawks: Host Phoenix on Thursday.
Pelicans: Host Cleveland on Friday.
AYTON HAS 35, SUNS HOLD OFF THOMAS, NETS IN BOOKER’S RETURN
NEW YORK (AP) These aren’t the Phoenix Suns that fell apart after Devin Booker was hurt.
The team he came back to is surging and doesn’t expect that to change.
“We’re going to have this thing rolling now,” Deandre Ayton said. “Suns basketball on the way for sure.”
Ayton matched his career high with 35 points, Booker scored 19 in his first game since Christmas and the Suns held off Cam Thomas and the Brooklyn Nets 116-112 on Tuesday night.
Booker missed 21 games with left groin strain. The Suns had a stretch of nine losses in 10 games early in his absence but hung in well at the end and have won nine of 11.
“Now we’re back and we have our guy back, so he knows we’re locked and loaded,” Ayton said.
The 21-year-old Thomas led a late charge and finished with 43 points, becoming the youngest player in NBA history with three straight 40-point games. He had 44 and a career-high 47 points in his previous two games, but the Nets are 1-2 during Thomas’ run.
“Obviously I’d rather have the win because it sounds better when you have these 40-point games with the two (games) that we lost, but it’s just good to have my name in history,” Thomas said.
Mikal Bridges had 17 of his 21 points in the second half and played a key role in the defensive effort that cooled off Thomas just long enough for the Suns to use a 13-4 run to build a 109-97 lead with 2:25 remaining.
Booker scored six points and set up Ayton for another basket during that stretch.
“That’s all I want right there is just competition and being back out there with the band and just feeling that energy, feeling that presence,” Booker said. “The team has it rolling right now, so just insert myself in a way that wasn’t disruptive and try to keep the flow that they have.”
Thomas rallied the Nets mostly from the free-throw line, and his intentional miss with 4.1 seconds remaining left the Suns with a 114-112 lead. He then fouled Ayton, who finished it off with two free throws after going 14 for 18 from the field and grabbing 15 rebounds.
Nic Claxton and T.J. Warren had 17 points each for the Nets, who lost on back-to-back nights after trading Kyrie Irving and fell to 5-9 without the injured Kevin Durant. They opted not to play Spencer Dinwiddie and Dorian Finney-Smith, the players they acquired from Dallas in the trade for Irving.
Ben Simmons had two points and six assists after missing five games with left knee soreness.
Suns: Chris Paul surpassed 2,500 steals, a mark reached by only John Stockton, Jason Kidd and Michael Jordan. He had nine points and 12 assists.
Nets: Brooklyn was also without Seth Curry (left adductor strain) and Yuta Watanabe (back tightness). … Coach Jacque Vaughn said Durant continues to progress well in his recovery but still hasn’t been involved in the any portions of practice where there is contact. Vaughn said he didn’t know when Durant would take that step, and he won’t play before he does. The Nets only have four games remaining before the All-Star break.
DINWIDDIE AND DORIAN
Dinwiddie spent five seasons with the Nets and recalled when he signed a multiyear deal in December 2016 after coming into the league as a second-round pick who battled to prove he was more than a G League player.
“My career’s been hard, and that right there kind of solidified knowing, like, my family’s going to be fine,” Dinwiddie said.
He said there was nostalgia being back in Brooklyn, where he averaged a career-best 20.6 points in 2019-20, and praised Finney-Smith’s ability to be an important contributor to the team.
“Understanding that we may not be the best trade package, but we are the best-looking and the Nets needed some help in that department,” he joked.
The Nets dealt forward Kessler Edwards to Sacramento for the rights to 2016 second-round pick David Michineau and cash. Edwards began last season on a two-way deal before playing well enough to earn a standard NBA contract, but had appeared in just 14 games this season.
Suns: At Atlanta on Thursday.
Nets: Host Chicago on Thursday.
MORANT, JACKSON HELP GRIZZLIES BEAT BULLS, END 3-GAME SKID
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) Ja Morant scored 34 points, Jaren Jackson Jr. added 24 points and five blocks, and the Memphis Grizzlies rallied in the fourth quarter to beat the Chicago Bulls 104-89 on Tuesday night.
Desmond Bane finished with 17 points and Brandon Clarke had 13 points and 13 rebounds for the Grizzlies, who stopped a three-game skid. Clarke had seven of the team’s 11 rebounds in the key fourth.
“This was an important game to go get because we kind of battled back in that fourth quarter,” Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said.
Unlike recent losses when Memphis couldn’t close out games, the Grizzlies were solid down the stretch, outscoring the Bulls 32-14 in the fourth – including a 10-0 run.
“These recent games we’ve been giving up too many layups and stuff at the rim. Second-chance points,” Morant said. “We were back to pretty much our defense late and able to execute on the other end.”
Nikola Vucevic had 28 points and 17 rebounds for the Bulls, whose three-game winning streak ended. Chicago played without leading scorer DeMar DeRozan because of right hip soreness.
Zach LaVine scored 24 points for Chicago and Ayo Dosunmu added 14 points and six assists.
But poor shooting hindered the Bulls at the start of the game and in the final period. Chicago was 5 of 19 from the field in the fourth, including making only one of its 10 3-point attempts.
“I thought we did some good things in the fourth quarter,” Bulls coach Billy Donovan said. “I didn’t think we shot the ball particularly well from the 3 or from the field. … I think we lost a little bit of rhythm.”
The Bulls trailed 49-39 at halftime, plagued by 13 turnovers and 30% shooting, including 3 of 16 from 3-point range. But Chicago got rolling in the third behind Vucevic, who had 14 points in the quarter, and LaVine, who contributed 12. The Bulls led 75-72 entering the fourth.
“I think execution-wise, we came down and weren’t really organized,” LaVine said. “We had a lot of opportunities to make shots. We just didn’t knock them down.
“It was a low-scoring game on both ends. We just didn’t get enough stops.”
For Memphis, it was a reprieve from its recent troubles where it had lost eight of the last nine. But Jackson said it is a matter of maintaining a balanced mindset through the slumps.
“There is no time to get excited or feel bad about a win or a loss,” Jackson said. “The greatest teams never did that. Teams that aren’t great, do that.”
Bulls: G Alex Caruso, who missed the previous two games with mid-foot soreness, started in DeRozan’s spot and recorded his 750th career assist in the first quarter. … The Bulls totaled 14 points in both the first and fourth quarters, their lowest for any quarter this season. … Vucevic has 34 games this season with at least 10 rebounds.
Grizzlies: C Steven Adams missed his seventh game with a PCL strain in his right knee. Memphis is 2-5 since Adams was injured. … F Dillon Brooks returned to the lineup after missing Sunday’s game under a league-assessed one-game suspension in connection with his scuffle with Cleveland’s Donovan Mitchell. … Jackson has 20 blocks in his last four games. … Jackson entered the game having missed all nine of his 3-point attempts over the past two games. He was 2 of 5 from outside the arc against Chicago.
FREE THROW WOES
LaVine, a career 83% shooter from the free throw line, surprisingly was 10 of 17 against the Grizzlies. “I’ve got to do better. It’s unacceptable for me to shoot that many free throws and miss,” he said.
Bulls: At Brooklyn on Thursday night.
Grizzlies: Host Minnesota on Friday night.
JOKIC POSTS TRIPLE-DOUBLE BY HALFTIME, NUGGETS ROUT WOLVES
DENVER (AP) Nikola Jokic may not always dazzle with his athleticism. He sure does with his numbers.
Jokic posted his 19th triple-double of the season by halftime and the Denver Nuggets rode a 49-point first quarter to a 146-112 rout of the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night.
Jokic finished with 20 points, 16 assists and 12 rebounds. It was the second time in his career the big man has notched a triple-double by halftime. Jokic took a seat late in the third quarter with the Western Conference leaders ahead by a large margin.
“It’s incredible he had a triple-double in the first half,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. “LeBron (James) did it with just so much athleticism and Nikola does it with much un-athleticism – but equally as effective.”
Denver led 49-19 after the first quarter – including a 32-2 run – as the Nuggets shot 79.2% from the floor. The 49 points tied for the second-most in a quarter in the franchise’s NBA history. Michael Porter Jr. led the way by scoring 19 of his 30 points in the opening period.
Aaron Gordon added 24 for the Nuggets, who set season highs in points and assists (44).
“Everybody who was in today’s game was kind of doing the simple things,” Jokic explained. “We didn’t do anything complicated. So we didn’t turn the ball over, and we were just playing the right way.”
Anthony Edwards and Luka Garza both had 19 points for Minnesota. D’Angelo Russell was ejected after picking up two technical fouls in the third quarter. He finished with 10 points.
“We didn’t play with a lot of physicality. It wasn’t there early,” Timberwolves coach Chris Finch said. “Bunch of bad turnovers to start the game, then transition was a disaster. Their shot-making, they got hot and it was over. They kicked our butt in every way you can.”
It was much different than Sunday in Minnesota, where the Timberwolves cruised past Denver 128-98. But in that game, the Nuggets were without four starters: Jokic, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Jamal Murray and Gordon.
Murray also missed Tuesday’s game due to inflammation in his right knee. He was sidelined all last season as he recovered from a torn ACL in his left knee.
The Nuggets had 12 players who scored at least five points and the team finished at 62.4% shooting from the field.
“We had a night where we were firing on all cylinders,” Malone said. “When we play like that, it’s a lot of fun to watch.”
Timberwolves: F Kyle Anderson was sidelined with back spasms. … G Austin Rivers served the second of his three-game suspension for his part in last Friday’s fight between Minnesota and the Orlando Magic.
Nuggets: F Zeke Nnaji was out with a sprained right shoulder. … G Bruce Brown appeared to turn his ankle early in the game, but returned and finished with nine points. … It was Jokic’s 95th career triple-double. … Porter was plus-43 for the game. “When I told him plus-43, his smile was ear to ear,” Malone recounted.
Nuggets guard Bones Hyland didn’t play as his name surfaces in trade speculation. The trade deadline is Thursday.
“Bones is one of my favorite players,” Porter told the media contingent during the morning shootaround. “I wish he would stay here. I wish it could be figured out.”
Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns joined the team on the trip, but there’s no timetable for his return from a strained right calf.
“It’s good for him to get back in the mindset of being around the team, start to fall into the rhythm of what that is,” Finch said. “Just having him around has been great.”
Timberwolves: At Utah on Wednesday night.
Nuggets: Start a three-game trip Thursday at Orlando.
REPORT: NETS DON’T PLAN TO TRADE KD BEFORE DEADLINE
The Brooklyn Nets have told teams that they aren’t planning on moving Kevin Durant ahead of Thursday afternoon’s NBA trade deadline, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Durant is currently having “ongoing conversations” with the Nets’ brass regarding the direction of the franchise in the aftermath of Kyrie Irving’s trade to the Dallas Mavericks last week, Wojnarowski adds.
Durant was interested in potentially being dealt to the Phoenix Suns last summer, but the Nets haven’t shown a willingness to trade the two-time Finals MVP, Wojnarowski reports.
Durant eventually rescinded his trade request after meeting with Brooklyn’s front office leading into the season.
Durant is under contract through the 2025-26 campaign. The Nets superstar is averaging 29.7 points, 6.7 boards, 5.3 boards, and 1.5 blocks over 39 appearances. He’s shooting a career-best 55.9% from the field and a league-leading 93.4% from the charity stripe.
The 34-year-old has missed the past 13 games with an MCL sprain. The Nets have gone 5-8 during that span. He is not expected to return in time for the All-Star Game on Feb. 19, for which he was voted a starter, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn told reporters including ESPN’s Nick Friedell that Durant had yet to be cleared for contact, but had a “really good report” in his checkup with doctors.
Brooklyn sits fifth in the East with a 32-21 record entering Tuesday.
HEAT TRADE DEWAYNE DEDMON, 2ND-ROUND PICK TO SPURS
MIAMI (AP) The San Antonio Spurs have acquired Dewayne Dedmon and a second-round draft from the Miami Heat, with the teams finalizing that deal Tuesday.
The Spurs will receive Miami’s second-round selection in 2028. The Heat got cash considerations, plus more importantly, some newly opened financial flexibility – since they’re not taking any salary back – as well as a roster spot.
Dedmon is averaging 5.7 points in 30 games this season. He played in only one game for Miami after an incident during a Jan. 10 game against Oklahoma City in which he was upset after getting subbed out in the second quarter, argued with Heat players and coaches, then swatted at one of the massage guns behind the bench.
The device sailed onto the court – coming to rest about 35 feet from where Dedmon was standing – while play was happening. Dedmon was ejected for unsportsmanlike conduct and was later suspended for one game by the Heat.
It’s the first trade between the Heat and Spurs. Miami had made at least one other trade with every other NBA franchise.
HEAT SAY KYLE LOWRY OUT AT LEAST 3 GAMES WITH KNEE ISSUE
MIAMI (AP) Kyle Lowry has been ruled out for the Miami Heat’s next three games with a left knee issue, and he could be sidelined even longer.
Lowry is averaging 12.0 points and 5.3 assists on 39.6% shooting this season, numbers all down from a year ago when Miami went into the Eastern Conference playoffs as the No. 1 seed. He will miss games against Indiana on Wednesday, versus Houston on Friday and at Orlando on Saturday.
He didn’t play Saturday at Milwaukee because of what the Heat called left knee soreness. The Heat will re-evaluate him next week, when Miami has two more games before the All-Star break.
“I think this is just what you deal with in a long NBA season,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Tuesday. “There’s going to be unpredictable things. The encouraging thing about it is there doesn’t need to be a procedure or anything like that. We just need to calm it down and that’s where we are right now.”
The last time Lowry’s scoring average was this low was the 2012-13 season, the last time he had so few assists per game was 2009-10 – and the only season where he had a lower shooting percentage was a 10-game stint in his rookie year, 2006-07.
He turns 37 next month. The six-time All-Star is in the second year of a three-year, $85 million deal with Miami.
IRVING HAS FIRST PRACTICE WITH MAVERICKS, PREPS FOR DEBUT
Kyrie Irving had his first practice with Dallas on Tuesday, and was asked if he envisioned any problems playing alongside Mavericks star Luka Doncic.
Irving’s answer: “No.”
The Mavs clearly see it the same way.
Irving’s Dallas chapter has started, with a practice in Los Angeles preceding what’s expected to be his debut game there when the Mavericks visit the Clippers on Wednesday night. The Mavericks struck a deal Sunday to acquire the eight-time All-Star from the Brooklyn Nets.
“I’ve played with some of the best of all time, greatest of all time,” Irving said. “I’ve been on some of the greatest teams, the Olympics and the world championships. This is going to be my first time seeing one of those bad Europeans come over and really dominate up close — and have the opportunity to do it at a pace that I don’t think has ever been seen before other than like Larry Bird.”
For his part, Mavericks coach Jason Kidd said he expects Irving and Doncic to figure things out quickly.
“This isn’t two 23-year-olds trying to see who’s the alpha,” Kidd said. “We understand, this is Luka’s team. It will be Luka’s team.”
Irving was all smiles Tuesday, for good reason. He’s excited to be with the Mavericks, just as they were excited to get him.
“The combination of Kyrie and Luka will be fun to watch,” Mavs owner Mark Cuban said.
Brooklyn had a similar thought in 2019 when the Nets landed Irving and Kevin Durant, thinking they would be the pieces that brought a championship. They wound up playing only 74 regular-season games together.
Irving’s time with the Nets was often tumultuous. He took leaves of absence in the 2020-21 season, had to miss much of the 2021-22 season because he wouldn’t get vaccinated against COVID-19 and therefore wasn’t compliant with New York City workplace rules, and this year was suspended eight games after posting a link to a film with antisemitic messaging.
He eventually was welcomed back to the Nets, and played at an All-Star level once again. But when it was time to discuss an extension, the relationship soured again when Irving didn’t like whatever answer the Nets gave. He asked for a trade, and Brooklyn quickly accommodated him.
“I just know I want to be places where I’m celebrated, and not just tolerated or kind of dealt with in a way that doesn’t make me feel respected,” Irving said. “There were times throughout this process when I was in Brooklyn that I felt very disrespected. I work extremely hard at what I do. No one ever talks about my work ethic, though. Everyone talks about what I’m doing off the floor. I just want to change that narrative and write my own story and just continue to prepare in the gym and now that I’m in Dallas just focus on what I can control.”
He was asked what, specifically, left him feeling disrespected in Brooklyn.
“That’s another day where I can really go into detail about it,” Irving said.
NETS’ IRVING DRAMA MAKES OTHER EAST CONTENDERS LOOK STABLE
Blake Griffin is no stranger to trade drama. He was dealt from the Clippers to the Pistons in 2018, and last season he was playing for the Brooklyn Nets when they sent James Harden to Philadelphia in a February blockbuster.
These days, Griffin is with the Boston Celtics, who seem awfully stable when compared with those Nets.
“It’s a tough time of year, but as far as this team goes, we’re in a pretty good spot,” Griffin said after Boston’s win at Detroit on Monday night. “This team is very focused.”
In the aftermath of another Brooklyn bombshell — the Nets broke up their remaining All-Star duo of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving by trading Irving to Dallas — the other top teams in the Eastern Conference can feel pretty content with their situations. Boston has the best record in the NBA and a team that reached the Finals a season ago. Milwaukee has the league’s longest current winning streak at eight games.
Even the 76ers, who haven’t always been a picture of tranquility in recent years, have won nine of 11 and are third in the conference, just three games behind the Celtics.
The Nets had a stretch of 16 wins in 17 games from late November to early January, but Irving’s recent trade request — and the fulfillment of it — now leave Brooklyn a very uncertain threat in the East. Cleveland jumped ahead of the Nets on Monday night and into fourth place in the conference.
“I don’t think (the trade) affects Boston, Milwaukee — they’re still at the top,” Detroit coach Dwane Casey said before facing the Celtics. “It could affect Brooklyn. … It’s interesting for the league and it just lets you know that anything can happen.”
Griffin said he was a little surprised the deal came together so quickly.
“I think Dallas has been wanting to get him for a little bit. Now probably feel like the West is kind of open right now and (the Mavericks are) trying to go for it,” he said. “It’s good for both sides. Kyrie wanted out and didn’t want to be there and you know, hopefully both sides are happy.”
As for why Brooklyn’s star-studded team — which at one point included Durant, Irving and Harden — didn’t reach its potential, there are a number of explanations.
“Health is one of them,” Griffin said. “Those guys played like 16 games together or something. And, don’t think the pieces were utilized the right way.”
The Celtics recovered from a recent three-game losing streak and have won three of four. They’re trying to hold off Milwaukee atop the East. The Bucks are a game back.
“We’re very confident,” Milwaukee big man Brook Lopez said. “We’re just trying to play together and keep getting better.”
The Bucks and Celtics have made deep runs into the postseason the past two years. Philadelphia hasn’t reached the Finals since 2001.
The 76ers showed they might have that potential this season when Joel Embiid scored 47 points in a win over Denver late last month. Coach Doc Rivers understands it’s important to go into the postseason rested and ready.
“The March schedule is tough, more because of the travel and the back-to-backs than the opponent,” he said. “The opponents are all tough, we don’t care about that. That’s going to be an interesting month for us on what we’re going to do as far as playing guys, resting guys.”
The Celtics, Bucks and 76ers might make some moves of their own before Thursday’s trade deadline, but they’re unlikely to shake up their rosters the way Brooklyn did. The Nets had a dissatisfied star and decided to part with him. Boston, Milwaukee and Philadelphia, on the other hand, can deal from positions of strength.
“You know there’s a lot going on in the NBA. It’s exciting, fun for everyone to watch and listen and all that stuff,” Lopez said. “But obviously we’re really good at just staying focused, keeping our head grounded and focusing on what’s next.”
NO PITCH CLOCK, SHIFT LIMITS FOR WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC
NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball’s new pitch clock, limits on shifts and larger bases will not be used during the World Baseball Classic.
The three innovations will be debuted during the spring training exhibition season that starts Feb. 24. The 20-team national team tournament runs from March 8-21, and players will return to their clubs for more exhibition games with the new rules ahead of opening day on March 30.
“There’s going to be an adjustment and learning curve to those, so for the actual quality of baseball in the WBC, it’s probably better that they didn’t spring that on us in important games,” St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt said Tuesday during an online availability. “If something happened in an elimination game that we weren’t prepared for, that could have a negative effect. We’re going to need a learning curve with those and we won’t get it for a few weeks, but we’ll work on it in spring training and other times.”
This will be the fifth edition of the WBC following victories by Japan in 2006 and ’09, the Dominican Republic in 2013 and the U.S. in 2017. A scheduled 2021 tournament was called off because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Goldschmidt was 1 for 13 (.077) for the U.S. in 2017, and Arenado went 5 for 31 (.161) with a three-run homer against Canada’s Andrew Albers in the first round.
“I feel like the hype is a little bit higher this time around than it was in 2017. There’s more guys that want to do it,” Arenado said. “I know it’s not the World Cup, but just watching the World Cup and how awesome that was just to represent your country … I don’t know if it will get quite there, but get it close at least.”
Arenado agreed with the decision to not have the new rules in this year’s tournament.
“Maybe the next WBC, when everyone’s kind of used to it already, you do it,” he said.
Pitch limits again will be used.
A pitcher is limited to 65 pitches during a first-round game, 80 in a quarterfinal and 95 in the championship round, though a limit can be exceeded to finish a plate appearance. A pitcher may not pitch in games on three consecutive days. There must be one day off after throwing 30 or more pitches and two days off after throwing 50 or more pitches.
Designated hitters, the three-batter minimum and video review will be used, but the limit on mound visits will not.
Thirty-man rosters were due from teams on Tuesday and will be announced Thursday. Each team must include at least 14 pitchers and two catchers, including 10 pitchers eligible to pitch in consecutive rounds.
AUTO RACING NEWS
TRUEX DETERMINED TO REBOUND FROM WINLESS SEASON WITH GIBBS
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Martin Truex Jr. contemplated retirement during last year’s winless season and needed until June to decide to return in 2023.
He announced his plans in his typically understated way, with a one-sentence statement: “I’m back in the 19 next year,” it read.
Truex prefers to make his noise on the racetrack and did so at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum by opening his 18th full season at NASCAR’s top level with a win in the exhibition Busch Light Clash. It was Truex’s first victory since a Sept. 11, 2021 win at Richmond.
When he entered the USC locker room for his post-victory news conference with a gold medal around his neck, Truex was asked his mindset for this upcoming season.
“Mad,” he said.
Then he clarified how determined he and his No. 19 team at Joe Gibbs Racing are to rebound from last year, when Truex went winless for the first time in seven years. And, after advancing to the championship finale in five of seven seasons, Truex failed to even make the playoffs.
“Just have a lot of fire in my belly to go out and change what we did last year,” he said. “If you look at all the statistics, we had a decent year. We were consistent. We scored a lot of points. So many times that we felt like we were doing the right things, and probably should have won a couple races, and they got away from us.
“That was very, very frustrating. Knowing that we were doing everything we needed to do to win,” he added.
In fairness, it wasn’t a dominating year for Joe Gibbs Racing as an organization. The four drivers combined for six victories, with Christopher Bell using two playoff wins to advance into the championship final four. Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch, who has since left JGR, were both eliminated in knockout rounds.
Truex did everything but win, which was his downfall. He ran inside the top-10 in the standings through the entire regular season, only to miss a spot in the playoffs because NASCAR had a record-tying 19 different winners last season.
Truex’s win was a rebound from last year’s inaugural race in the Coliseum. He was one of the last to qualify for the 23-car event, was not competitive, and finished 15th.
“Honestly, we were probably the worst car here last year, literally. We were just God awful,” said Truex. “We barely made the race. Rode around the back and I spun out by myself on the last lap it was so bad.”
He admitted to Saturday night nerves before the race, unable to convince himself his fast times in practice would translate into Sunday night’s race.
Truex is also facing upheaval in his personal life as he made a rare public statement last week to announce he had split from his longtime partner, Sherry Pollex. The two first got together in 2005 and remained together during Pollex’s ongoing eight-year battle with ovarian cancer.
“Sherry and I have made the decision to end our relationship. I will continue supporting Sherry moving forward,” he said in a statement. “I would ask that you respect our privacy as there will be no further comment about this matter.”
Whether it’s personal or professional, the change in Truex was noticed by his crew chief.
“He’s super motivated, and we’re all behind him,” said James Small. “I think last year was a big disappointment for all of us. He knew he’s way better than that, and he’s just ready to get going. We all just want to prove everyone wrong.”
Next up for Truex is the Daytona 500, a race he’s never won. He’s 0-for-18 in “The Great American Race” despite starting on the pole in 2011. In 2016, Truex lost a photo finish to now teammate Hamlin by .010 seconds.
He’s ready to end the drought in the Feb. 19 season-opener.
“I’m just wanting to go out and show them what we can do,” Truex said. “We’ve been very fired up this off-season, working very hard, all of us.”
SABRES AGREE WITH DYLAN COZENS ON $49.7M, 7-YEAR EXTENSION
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The Buffalo Sabres have agreed to terms with forward Dylan Cozens on a seven-year extension worth $49.7 million.
The team announced the contract Tuesday. Cozens will count $7.1 million against the salary cap through the 2029-30 season.
Cozens, who turns 22 Thursday, is the latest core player the Sabres have extended over the past six months. Buffalo signed All-Star forward Tage Thompson for $50 million over seven seasons in August and defenseman Mattias Samuelsson to a $30 million, seven-year deal in October.
Rasmus Dahlin, the top pick in 2020 who’s a Norris Trophy candidate and filled in for Thompson at NHL All-Star weekend, figures to be next for a big contract. He’s signed through next season and can begin talking about an extension this summer.
Cozens, who was set to be a restricted free agent, has already set career highs with 17 goals, 26 assists and 43 points — with 30 games left in the season. The seventh pick in 2019, Cozens has 34 goals and 60 assists in 169 regular-season NHL games, all with Buffalo.
The Sabres, led by Dahlin, Thompson, Cozens and 2021 No. 1 pick Owen Power, are contending to make the playoffs. The organization’s 11-year playoff drought dating to 2011 is by far the longest in the league.
WARREN FOEGELE SCORES TWICE, OILERS BEAT RED WINGS 5-2
DETROIT (AP) Connor McDavid extended his point streak to 13 games and Warren Foegele scored twice in the second period, helping the Edmonton Oilers beat the Detroit Red Wings 5-2 on Tuesday night.
Foegele, a fourth-round winger, had his first two-goal game of the season one game after he was a healthy scratch.
“It’s one of the best games I’ve seen from him, and he should feel real good about himself,” Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft said. “There’s nobody more happy for him than his teammates and his coaching staff.”
Fourth-line center Ryan McLeod and Foegele had goals 36 seconds apart early in the second and Foegele scored again midway through the period to give the Oilers a 3-1 lead. Third-line center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins restored their two-goal lead late in the third period.
“We got some contributions from our entire lineup, which is great,” said Edmonton’s Evander Kane, who had an empty net goal. “We’re going to need that as we go down the stretch here and obviously in the playoffs. That type of scoring wins or loses you series.”
Edmonton’s Jack Campbell stopped 30 shots, including some key ones in the third to keep a one-goal lead.
“They were big saves, but I would say Jack expects to make those days and we expect those saves,” Woodcroft said. “He’s starting to build a little personal momentum for himself.”
The Oilers maintained the momentum they had going into the All-Star break with their eighth win in nine games.
“The boys have been playing great leading up to the break and definitely wanted to continue where we left off,” Campbell said. “Great way to start the road trip and get all the juices flowing again.”
Ville Husso made 22 saves for the Red Wings, who had won two of their previous three games.
“There are a lot of positives to take out of this game despite the score, but we just didn’t finish,” Detroit coach Derek Lalonde said.
Detroit’s Tyler Bertuzzi broke a scoreless tie midway through the first period and Joe Veleno scored with 9 seconds left in the second to pull the home team within a goal.
Edmonton, the NHL’s highest-scoring team and best on the power play, scored with an extra skater when Nugent-Hopkins had a goal with 4:22 left in the third.
“Their power play is on pace to be the best in the history of the game,” Lalonde said. “We gave them a fourth one and it killed us.”
The game had plenty of after-whistle scrums, leading to a parade into the penalty box with several penalties in the third period.
“It’s today’s NHL. A lot of guys think they can get in there, and the referees bail them out a lot,” Kane said. “It was a bit of a chippy game, and it started in the second period. We got some guys on our team that don’t mind answering the bell.”
Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin said he and his teammates let the emotions get the best of them when a game-tying goal was needed.
“That’s something we need to learn from,” Larkin said.
NOTES: McDavid has nine goals and 12 assists during his 13-game point streak, giving him an NHL-high 41 goals and 93 points. … Bertuzzi, who has been limited to 18 games by injuries, scored his second goal of the season.
Oilers: Play at Philadelphia on Thursday.
Red Wings: Host the Calgary Flames on Thursday.
PHIL KESSEL HELPS GOLDEN KNIGHTS BEAT PREDATORS 5-1
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Phil Kessel, William Carrier and Chandler Stephenson each had a goal and an assist, and the Vegas Golden Knights beat the Nashville Predators 5-1 on Tuesday night.
Vegas had dropped four in a row and seven of eight overall. Michael Amadio and Alex Pietrangelo also scored for the Golden Knights, and Adin Hill made 16 saves in the team’s first game since Jan. 28.
“It’s tight in the West so you’ve got to make these games count,” Vegas coach Bruce Cassidy said. “There’s still a lot of hockey left. Let’s start taking care of business, playing the right way, building our game so that it’s really sound going toward the end of the year.”
Matt Duchene scored for Nashville in the first period. Juuse Saros, Nashville’s lone representative at the All-Star Game, made 25 saves.
The Predators had won three straight and five of six going into the All-Star break.
“We weren’t good in a lot of facets and there’s no excuses for it,” Nashville coach John Hynes said. “The other team had a break too, and tonight it wasn’t good.”
Hill faced just four shots in the first and two in the second. Nashville’s previous low for shots in a game this season was 18, and Vegas’ previous season low for shots allowed was also 18.
“That game was kind of weird in the sense that it wasn’t like they had no zone time,” Hill said. “There were pucks missing the net, hitting bodies in front, so I was able to stay in it pretty easily. It wasn’t like there were any long stretches of play where I didn’t have any action in my end.”
Duchene’s 15th goal put Nashville in front at 5:04, but Vegas responded with three goals in the first.
“We didn’t deserve to win tonight,” Duchene said. “We beat ourselves more than they beat us. That’s kind of the story.”
Amadio and Carrier scored 27 seconds apart, and Kessel made it 3-1 at 11:58.
“It was a good response to keep the game tight, and (we) came out of that first period with a 3-1 lead is good for us,” Carrier said.
Nashville narrowly avoided a couple of franchise records for fewest shots on goal. The two shots that made it through to Hill in the middle frame exceeded the Predators record for shots in a period by one. They registered just one shot on goal on four occasions, the most recent coming on Dec. 8, 2008.
The franchise record for fewest shots on goal during a game is nine, set Jan. 27, 2001.
SUCCESS AGAINST NASHVILLE
Stephenson has two goals and three assists in two games against Nashville this season. In 10 career games against the Predators, he has six goals and eight assists.
Vegas defenseman Zach Whitecloud returned to the lineup after missing 21 games due to a lower-body injury.
Predators: Visit the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.
Golden Knights: Visit the Minnesota Wild on Thursday.
FRANK VATRANO’S OT GOAL LIFTS DUCKS OVER BLACKHAWKS 3-2
CHICAGO (AP) Frank Vatrano scored 2:15 into overtime, and the Anaheim Ducks beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 on Tuesday night in a matchup of two of the NHL’s worst teams.
Vatrano got his 12th goal when he beat Petr Mrazek from the left side of the net. Isac Lundestrom set up the game-winner with a cross-ice pass.
“It was a great play by Lundy all around, to hold on to that puck and find a lane for me,” Vatrano said.
The Ducks improved to 4-0-1 in their last five games. It was Anaheim’s first win against Chicago since Dec. 5, 2018, stopping an eight-game slide.
“We’ve been going good as of late and before the (All-Star) break we were playing some good hockey,” Vatrano said. “We wanted to start after the break with some positivity.”
Brett Leason and Jayson Megna each had a goal and an assist for Anaheim (17-29-6). John Klingberg had two assists, and Anthony Stolarz made 27 saves.
“We just kept our heads down and kept swinging,” Anaheim coach Dallas Eakins said. “Lundstrom’s out there and he shows some patience. Franky Vatrano really woke up there in the third period and continued on to the overtime.”
Chicago’s Jason Dickinson had a goal for the third straight game. Seth Jones also scored and Mrazek blocked 23 shots.
With the game tied at 2, the Blackhawks controlled much of the action in the third period. But Stolarz stopped Dickinson’s point-blank shot with 7:40 left. Chicago defenseman Jake McCabe missed on a prime chance with just over six minutes remaining.
“Yeah, that one hurts,” Dickinson said. “Feel like we should have won, but we let that one get away from us.”
It was the first game for the Blackhawks since Hall of Fame forward Bobby Hull died last week at age 84. The organization paid tribute to Hull with a pregame moment of silence and a video of his career highlights.
Troy Terry, Anaheim’s All-Star forward, was sidelined by an upper-body injury. He is day to day after he got hurt during a 3-2 shootout loss at Dallas on Monday.
Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews missed the game with a non-COVID-19 illness.
Dickinson opened the scoring at 1:36 of the second period. He beat Stolarz from the slot after Patrick Kane made a centering pass from the backboards.
Leason tied it at 8:25, knocking in a rebound of his own shot with a one-handed swat.
Jones put Chicago (15-29-5) back in front at 13:09. The All-Star defenseman jumped up to join a rush, took Dickinson’s cross-ice feed and connected from the slot.
Megna tied it at 2 at 15:42 with his first goal of the season and No. 11 for his career. He scored from the right circle after Jones lost the puck behind his own net.
Kane said Monday that a few NHL teams had reached out to his agent, Pat Brisson, about a potential trade before the March 3 deadline.
Kane and Toews are in the final seasons of eight-year contracts with no-movement clauses. Both are represented by Brisson and would need to consent to a deal that might bring rebuilding Chicago draft picks or prospects.
Blackhawks C Tyler Johnson (left ankle) returned after missing three games. … Chicago D Jarred Tinordi, out since Dec. 18 with a broken jaw, has been activated off IR. He could play this weekend. … F Derek Grant took Terry’s place in Anaheim’s lineup. … Chicago D Connor Murphy played his 600th game.
Ducks: Host Pittsburgh on Friday.
Blackhawks: Host Arizona on Friday.
TOP INDIANA NEWS
REPORT: COLTS NOT EXPECTED TO CONDUCT MORE HC INTERVIEWS
The Indianapolis Colts have conducted a thorough search for their new head coach and while there’s a chance they extend the process into a third round of interviews, it seems that is unlikely.
As Colts fans know from the Josh McDaniels and Jeff Saturday situations, anything can happen at any time in the NFL.
However, ESPN’s Stephen Holder suggests the Colts are done conducting interviews, barring a change.
Was traveling the past week, but now catching up on the Colts’ coaching search. Here is what I know as of this moment:
The interviews are over. I do not anticipate any additional meetings, though it’s possible that could change (though not likely).
Holder also reported that the length of the search was not due to indecision but that this process was deliberate in gaining as much information as possible.
The thorough nature of the process shouldn’t be interpreted as indecision. It was very deliberate, I’m told.
Unconventional? Yes. But deliberate. Why? Largely to ensure that every candidate got a completely fair shake and full consideration.
This has been an exhaustive and comprehensive search done by the Colts. It’s clear they want to make the right decision on their next head coach, especially from the perspective of Chris Ballard, whose job is likely tied to the success (or lack thereof) of the new head coach.
Considering the main event of Super Bowl LVII is this week, there’s a good chance we don’t hear much news about a decision until afterward. Not that it would truly impact anything, but the league frowns upon major announcements being made during the biggest week of the year.
The Colts have seven finalists for the job, but it’s difficult to truly narrow down who the actual contenders are.
GAME PREVIEW: PACERS AT HEAT
If the first three games were any indication, the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat are set for another fierce matchup on Wednesday night in the Sunshine State.
Indiana (25-30) enters their fourth and final game against the Heat (29-25) leading the season series 2-1. All three games came down to the wire, with the Pacers winning the last contest on a 43-point night – and last-second 3-pointer – from All-Star point guard Tyrese Haliburton while the first two games were decided by five points or fewer.
The first three games were decided by 11 points combined.
Indiana comes into the game off a 122-103 loss on Sunday to the Cleveland Cavaliers, and are 2-8 over their last 10 games. Miami is 5-5 over their last 10 games, but have won six straight at home and are 17-9 at Miami-Dade Arena.
The Heat are a tough defensive team, with the second-fewest points allowed per game at 108.4. They also get the job done at the free throw line, shooting 82.2 percent from the charity stripe – good for third-highest in the NBA.
Jimmy Butler has continued to lead the Heat this season by averaging 21.9 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 2.1 steals this season.
A key matchup will be between the men in the middle, as Pacers center Myles Turner comes in with three straight double-doubles and is averaging 17.7 points per game and 8.1 rebounds this season while the Heat’s center Bam Adebayo is putting up 21.5 points, 10 rebounds and 3.2 assists.
Against the Cavs, Turner finished with 27 points and 10 rebounds.
Since his 10-game absence due to right knee and elbow sprains, Haliburton has logged at least 31 minutes the last three games while achieving a double-double twice, including 15 points and 11 assists against the Cavaliers.
Despite Halliburton’s return, the Pacers are averaging just 107 points per game over their last three games. However, the Heat are even lower at 106.3 points scored per contest over that same span.
The Heat haven’t played since Saturday when they beat the Milwaukee Bucks 123-115 on the road.
Butler scored 32 points in the content and Tyler Herro – the 2022 SIxth Man of the Year – poured in 24.
Pacers: G – Tyrese Haliburton, G – Andrew Nembhard, F – Buddy Hield, F – Aaron Nesmith, C – Myles Turner
Heat: G – Gabe Vincent, G – Tyler Herro, F – Caleb Martin, F – Jimmy Butler, C – Bam Adebayo
Pacers: Chris Duarte – questionable (sore right ankle)
Heat: Orlando Robinson – probable (fractured right thumb), Gabe Vincent – probable (right ankle inflammation), Nikola Jovic – out (back stress reaction), Kyle Lowry – out (sore right knee), Victor Oladipo – out (right ankle sprain), Duncan Robinson – out (finger surgery recovery), Omer Yurtseven – out (left ankle)
Dec. 23, 2022: Haliburton posted 43 points and hit a game-winning 3-pointer with 2.6 seconds left to lift the Blue & Gold over the Heat 111-108 in Miami.
On top of the career-high in points, Haliburton broke the Pacers franchise record for made 3-pointers in a game by draining 10 treys. Haliburton shot 14-for-20 from the field and 10-for-16 from 3-point range.
Miami rallied from a 12-point deficit in the fourth quarter before Herro hit a 3-pointer with 10 seconds left to tie it.
Hield also had a solid night from beyond the arc for the Blue & Gold, nailing seven 3-pointers for 21 points, while Jalen Smith chipped in 14 points and collected 14 rebounds.
Herro led the Heat with 28 points, Lowry added 21 and Butler totaled 20.
Indiana as a team shot 48.2 percent while holding the Heat to 43.2 percent from the field. The visitors also won the rebounding margin 43-38 but were outscored 52-36 in the paint.
The Pacers lead the all-time regular season series with the Heat, 72-54.
Last season the Heat won the season series 2-1.
Former Indiana Pacer Victor Oladipo has missed the last two games for the Heat due to an ankle injury.
Pacers forward James Johnson played four seasons in Miami.
Broadcast Information (TV and Radio Listings >>)
TV: Bally Sports Indiana – Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: 93.5/107.5 The Fan – Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Eddie Gill (analyst), Pat Boylan (studio host)
The Pacers return to Gainbridge Fieldhouse to host Chris Paul and the Phoenix Suns on Friday, Feb. 10 at 7:00 PM ET.
INDIANA MEN’S BASKETBALL
HOOSIERS TOPPLE SCARLET KNIGHTS FOR THIRD STRAIGHT WIN
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — A shoe was lost, a game wasn’t.
Not with Indiana surging up the national rankings and Big Ten standings like a team on a mission.
This time it was No. 24 Rutgers, a nemesis no more, beaten by a 66-60 score Tuesday night at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.
That gave the No. 18 Hoosiers (17-7 overall, 8-5 in the Big Ten) seven victories in eight games and a share of second place. It also snapped a six-game losing streak to the Scarlet Knights (16-8, 8-5).
“It’s very important,” senior forward Trayce Jackson-Davis said about beating Rutgers for the first time in his career. “They’re a tough team. They always bring it. They have a lot pieces.
“To finally get over that hump is big for us. We have to keep moving forward.”
The Hoosiers did everything they didn’t do in December’s first meeting — win the rebound battle 35-31, defend harder (outshooting the Scarlet Knights 46 percent to 40), out-tough the visitors in key moments and play them to a virtual second chance-points standstill (losing 14-13).
And if they went more than eight late second-half minutes without a field goal, well, sometimes you have to find a way.
“There’s no quit in our team,” coach Mike Woodson said. “We kept grinding and grinding. We got stops when we needed them. They try to do whatever it takes to win. Tonight, they did that.”
Beyond that, Jackson-Davis became the first IU player to score 2,000 points and grab 1,000 rebounds when he totaled 20 points, 18 rebounds, six assists and one lost shoe. He now has 2,004 points and 1,035 rebounds.
Given the rarity of four-year standout players in 21st Century college basketball, he might be the last.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Woodson, himself a 2,000-point Hoosier scorer. “This young man has done a lot since he’s been wearing the uniform. I couldn’t be prouder of a player. He’s beautiful to watch.”
Added Jackson-Davis: “I know about the numbers, but I don’t pay that much attention now. There’s a lot of season left, a lot more to focus on. We’re trying to win. When my career is over, I will reflect on it.”
Senior Miller Kopp has watched Jackson-Davis for four years, two at Northwestern, the last two as a teammate.
“It’s dominance,” Kopp said. “Consistency. You not only have to be really good, but you also have to be consistent.
“I remember playing against him as a freshman. The dude has been doing this since then. To do it year after year shows a lot.”
Kopp complemented Jackson-Davis Tuesday night with 18 points on 4-for-6 three-point shooting.
“He got good looks,” Woodson said. “They didn’t get to him in the zone, and he made them pay. Most teams don’t give him many good looks. I wouldn’t either.
“It’s not just his scoring. He was good defensively. He did a lot of good things.”
Rutgers thrived on physical play. It had out-toughed IU in the first meeting, and threatened to do it in the second half, when the Hoosiers’ 12-point, second-half lead was cut to three in the final three minutes.
That physicality included Rutgers forward Clifford Omoruyi running over guard Trey Galloway for a late-second-half foul. Galloway didn’t flinch. Neither did the Hoosiers.
“We started looking over our shoulders when they cut the lead to three,” Woodson said, “but we made free throws and started to make plays.”
The Scarlet Knights were without starting forward Mawot Mag, who was lost for the season with a knee injury suffered Saturday against Michigan State.
IU unleashed a couple of acrobatic shots from Jackson-Davis and guard Jalen Hood-Schifino, plus a Kopp three-pointer, to open a 12-6 lead in less than five minutes.
The Hoosiers defended Rutgers into a shot-clock violation. Tamar Bates hit a three-pointer. Malik Reneau scored inside. Jackson-Davis dunked. Kopp scored five straight points. Jackson-Davis dunked again. IU led 27-14 with eight minutes left in the first half.
After a pair of Scarlet Knight three-pointers, Jackson-Davis rebounded a Rutgers missed shot, drove the length of the floor for a spinning layup, then followed that with his third dunk of the game and a 36-24 lead. The Scarlet Knights rallied behind their three-point shooting (6-for-11) to trail 38-35 at halftime.
Rutgers tied the score with a second-half-opening three-pointer. IU ratcheted up the defense for leads of 49-40 and 54-44.
The Scarlet Knights closed within six, then five, then three at 59-56 as the clock ticked under three minutes. The Hoosiers went more than eight minutes without a field goal before Jackson-Davis rebounded a Race Thompson miss and scored.
Galloway added a layup. Jackson-Davis and Kopp made free throws. It was enough.
“We couldn’t get going from an offensive standpoint coming down the stretch,” Woodson said. “We became stagnant and lethargic.
“In the first half we free flowed. In the second half we looked tired. We didn’t have any pop coming down the stretch. I have to get us over the hump when I see that.”
IU’s next game is Saturday at Michigan.
“This is how we’ve been playing,” Jackson-Davis said. “They were playing us tough, and we were tough right back. They muddy it up. We got the best of it, but they made it a game the whole time.”
INDIANA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
MACKENZIE HOLMES NAMED TO 2023 JERSEY MIKE’S NAISMITH WOMEN’S MIDSEASON TEAM
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Senior forward Mackenzie Holmes is one of 20 players on the 2023 Jersey Mike’s Naismith midseason team.
Holmes is leading Indiana with 22.0 points, 7.7 rebounds and shoots one of the nation’s best percentages at 69.6 percent. She has scored in double figures in all 23 games, recording 13 20-point scoring games and a pair of 30-point efforts this season as well. The Gorham, Maine native leads IU with 1.8 blocks per game (41 total). She has nine double-doubles on the season, seven coming in Big Ten play, which ranks seventh in a single season in school history.
She scored a new career-high 32 point against Michigan State and had another 30 point effort in the win at then No. 21 Illinois. During her three-game span against Illinois, Michigan and Ohio State, Holmes became the second player in 20 years, male or female, since Maya Moore (2010-11) to score three-straight 20-point games against AP Top 25 foes. She continues to climb her way up the all-time scoring list with 1,711 career points, which ranks 10th all-time and 724 career rebounds. The Gorham, Maine native is also third all-time in blocked shots (191). This season, Holmes has also earned recognition on the 2023 Lisa Leslie Award preseason watch list, 2023 Wooden Award preseason, midseason and late season teams, 2023 USBWA Ann Meyer Drysdale Player of the Year watch list.
INDIANA WOMEN’S GOLF
HOOSIERS FINISH 14TH AT FAU PARADISE INVITATIONAL
BOCA RATON, Fla. – The Indiana Hoosiers women’s golf team finished 14th at the FAU Paradise Invitational at the Osprey Point Golf Club on Tuesday.
The Hoosiers shot 902 (297-300-305; +38) over the 54-hole event led by senior Valerie Clancy, who shot a 218 (72-71-75; +2).
FAU Paradise Invitational • Boca Raton, Fla.
Osprey Point Golf Club
Par 72 • 6204 yards
Live Results: GolfStat
Team Standings: 14th/14 – 902 (297-300-305; +38)
Top Indiana Player: Valerie Clancy – 218 (72-71-75; +2)
• Senior Valerie Clancy tied for 22nd in the individual standings after shooting a 218 (72-71-75; +2). He final round of 75 (+3) included a birdie on No. 15.
• Junior Dominika Burdová completed the tournament with a third-round score of 76 (+4) and back-to-back birdies on No. 6 and 7. She finished t-30th overall at 220 (70-74-76; +4).
• Graduate transfer Alexis Florio played a final round of 78 (+6). Her tournament scorecard finished at 232 (77-76-79; +16).
• Sophomore Margaret Fernandez played back-to-back birdies on No. 1 and 2 in a final round of 77 (+5), the best of her rounds from the week.
• Junior Morgan Dabagia carded a team-best three birdies (No. 9, 15, and 16) during her final round of 77 (+5).
HOOSIERS IN THE STANDINGS
t-22. Valerie Clancy – 218 (72-71-75; +2)
t-30. Dominika Burdová – 220 (70-74-76; +4)
t-67. Alexis Florio – 232 (77-76-79; +16)
t-71. Margaret Fernandez – 234 (78-79-77; +18)
75. Morgan Dabagia – 242 (81-84-77; +26)
The Hoosiers will be back on the course for the Mercer Spring Invitational on Feb. 17 and 18. The tournament will be played at the Great Waters Course in Reynolds Lake Oconee, Ga.
SUNDAY FINALE AT MARYLAND TO BE TELEVISED ON ESPNU
BRISTOL, Conn. – Purdue baseball’s Sunday series finale at Maryland on April 23 has been selected for live national television coverage on ESPNU.
First pitch has been moved up to noon ET to accommodate the television coverage on ESPNU, which also streams live on the ESPN app and ESPN.com/watch.
The Boilermakers made their ESPNU debut in April 2019 for a Sunday series finale at Nebraska.
Maryland is the defending Big Ten champion and enters the season nationally ranked in all the polls. The Terrapins were chosen to host an NCAA Regional at Turtle Smith Stadium last year.
Purdue will be making its fourth trip to College Park this spring, also visiting the UMD campus in 2016, 2018 and 2021. The 2018 team swept the mid-April series at UMD and it ignited a 21-2 stretch that helped earn the Boilermakers an NCAA Regional bid.
MORE TV/STREAMING NOTABLES
• Big Ten Network has selected two additional Purdue games for live TV coverage. Those games will be announced in the coming weeks.
• The entirety of the eight-team Big Ten Tournament will also be televised live by BTN.
• BTN traditionally reserves the final weekend of the regular season for its wild-card selections and tries to spotlight games with the potential for the biggest impact on the top of the standings and Big Ten Tournament chase. Purdue hosts Nebraska the weekend of May 18-20. The BTN selected multiple Purdue games as TV wild-card picks during the final weekends of the 2017, 2018, 2021 and 2022 regular seasons.
• All of Purdue’s home games and Big Ten road games not televised by BTN or ESPNU will be streamed live on the BTN’s B1G+ app/website. Subscription packages are available at BigTenPlus.com. Fans connected to the internet network of any Big Ten university receive complimentary access to B1G+.
• The Boilermakers’ road games at Evansville (March 17-19), Indiana State (March 28) and UIC (May 10) are candidates to be streamed on ESPN+ based on the Missouri Valley Conference’s streaming deal with ESPN. Purdue’s series at Ole Miss (March 10-12) could also be available on ESPN’s streaming platforms via SEC Network+.
10 THINGS TO KNOW HEADING INTO THE PURDUE SOFTBALL SEASON
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The 2023 softball season begins this Friday when the Boilermakers open the season at Florida State’s JoAnne Graf Classic. Here’s what you need to know heading into the season:
10 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT PURDUE SOFTBALL
The Roster Breakdown: Purdue’s roster includes 15 total newcomers, made up of 11 freshmen and five transfers: a sophomore transfer (Madi Elish, previous: Arizona), a junior transfer (Hailey Hayes, previous: Boise State), a senior transfer (Becca Edwards, previous: Green Bay), a redshirt senior transfer (Kate Claypool, previous: Iowa), and a fifth-year transfers (Anna Lonchar, previous: UMBC).
Alex Echazarreta Returns: 2022 NFCA Second Team All-Region honoree at the utility/pitcher position returns for her fifth season, granted due to COVID-19. Echazarreta led the team in the circle with 10 wins las season, while offensively, the Reston, Virginia, native blasted seven home runs, the most by a Boilermaker in a single season since 2019.
Freshman to Watch: Utility player Jordyn Ramos enters her first year rated by the NCAA as one of the top-55 freshman to know in 2023. The Las Vegas product was named by MaxPreps as the Best Player in the State of Nevada in 2022, in addition to being the No. 31 overall recruit by Extra innings Softball and a top-14 player among outfielders.
The No. 5 Recruit Class is on Campus: The 2023 season will mark the highest-ranked class in program history as Boilermakers. The freshmen class was ranked by Extra Innings Softball as No. 5 in the country on signing day in 2021.
Home Games: Fans will have 14 chances to catch the Boilermakers at Bittinger Stadium this season. The first home appearance will be a Tuesday midweek vs. Indiana State on March 21 and will be followed in April with an eight-consecutive-game homestand.
Admission is Free: Purdue Athletics is excited to offer free admission to Boilermaker Softball games beginning with the 2023 season at Bittinger Stadium. Softball joins Cross Country, Men’s and Women’s Golf, Soccer, Swimming & Diving, Men’s and Women’s Tennis, Track & Field and Wrestling as non-ticketed sporting events at Purdue.
Game Location Breakdown: During non-conference play, Purdue will play in four states: Florida, North Carolina, California and Mississippi. Purdue will attend the tournaments of Florida State, UCF, Cal State Fullerton and Ole Miss, each of which played in the NCAA College World Series Regionals. Overall, Purdue will play two NCAA Super Regional teams in UCF and Mississippi State.
Opponent Breakdown: The Boilermakers are slated to play a total of 12 games this season against opponents ranked or receiving votes on the USA Today/NFCA preseason poll. Of the 12 games, nine will be true road games, while one will be a neutral site.
How to Watch: All Big Ten games will be streamed on B1G+.
Big Ten Tournament: The Big Ten Tournament will be hosted by Illinois from May 10-13 at Eichelberger Field.
BUTLER MEN’S BASKETBALL
BUTLER CLOSES STRONG DEFENSIVELY IN 68-66 WIN OVER ST. JOHN’S
Butler held visiting St. John’s scoreless over the final 3:45 of the game to take a 68-66 come-from-behind win Tuesday night at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
The Bulldogs’ closing 7-0 run gave Butler the 68-66 final margin with 1:31 to play as they were able to overcome two turnovers and two missed free throws in the final minute. A Joel Soriano bucket off an in-bounds play with less than a second on the clock was waved off after review, preventing overtime.
With the result, Butler improves to 12-13 overall and 4-10 in BIG EAST play. St. John’s is now 14-11 (4-10 BIG EAST).
Sophomore Jayden Taylor had a game-high 19 points for the second consecutive game. He went 6-for-12 from the field with 13 of his points coming in the second half.
STAT OF THE NIGHT:
Butler committed only 11 turnovers in the contest against St. John’s pressure defense. The Bulldogs turned the ball over 22 times in the first match-up between the two teams this season, a St. John’s win Jan. 10 in Queens.
HOW IT TRANSPIRED:
St. John’s shot 55 percent from the field in the first half to take a 41-34 halftime advantage.
Two Jalen Thomas free throws capped a brief 9-3 spurt by the Bulldogs to pull within two at 58-56 with 6:05 remaining in the game.
A Soriano dunk with 3:50 to play gave St. John’s a 66-61 lead. From that point forward, the Red Storm would go scoreless and Butler would break a 66-66 tie when Manny Bates found a cutting Simas Lukosius for a layup with 1:31 to play.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:
Butler had 19 assists on 23 made field goals.
Bates had 14 points, six rebounds, four assists and three blocks.
Eight of Thomas’s 10 points came in the second half, providing a much-needed spark for the Bulldogs.
Butler shot only 41 percent from the field, but had a 21-6 advantage in free throw attempts. Butler made 14 of those.
Ali Ali had a season-high eight rebounds for Butler.
Posh Alexander led St. John’s with 17 points. He added nine rebounds and six assists.
Soriano had 11 points and 12 rebounds for another double-double.
St. John’s shot 49 percent for the game.
Lukosius had 11 points, five rebounds and five assists for Butler, while Myles Tate came off the bench for six first-half points.
St. John’s won the first match-up between the two teams this season, taking a 77-61 decision in Queens, N.Y., Jan. 10.
Butler was without junior guard Chuck Harris for the second straight game as he works toward returning from a concussion sustained Jan. 28 against Seton Hall.
This is Butler’s first win of the season when trailing at the half. All 13 of their losses so far this season had included halftime deficits.
It also marked Butler’s first win of the season when the opponent shot a better percentage from the field than the Bulldogs. Butler was previously 0-13 when that occurred.
The win snaps a five-game losing streak for the Bulldogs.
With his three blocks Tuesday, Bates now has 42 on the season and moves into seventh on Butler’s single-season blocks list.
Butler has won eight of the last nine meetings with St. John’s that were played at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
UP NEXT: The Bulldogs continue their brief two-game homestand Friday, hosting No. 13 Xavier. The game is sold out. Tip is set for 7 p.m. and will air on FS1.
BUTLER VOLLEYBALL COACH SHARON CLARK ANNOUNCES HER RETIREMENT
Butler volleyball coach Sharon Clark has retired after leading the Bulldogs’ program for the last 23 seasons. Clark made the announcement Tuesday, Feb. 7.
Clark’s 368 wins as the head coach at Butler are the most in program history. Her time at Butler included seven 20-win seasons and a 2010 NCAA Tournament appearance after the Bulldogs captured the Horizon League Tournament title.
“We want to thank Sharon for her efforts in leading our program over the past 23 seasons, which included many accomplishments as Butler transitioned from the Horizon League to the Atlantic 10 and ultimately to the BIG EAST,” said Butler Vice President and Director of Athletics Barry Collier. “We wish Sharon and her family all the best moving forward.”
During her time at Butler, Clark has mentored honorable mention American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-Americans and AVCA All-Region honorees, as well as all-conference players.
Clark has served the AVCA in a number of roles over the years, including a two-year term as the association’s president (2020-21).
Clark’s 30-season head coaching career also includes six seasons at UC-Davis and one at Humboldt State prior to arriving at Butler. She has accumulated a total of 470 wins as a head coach.
Butler posted a 16-15 record during the 2022 season, finishing in a tie for fourth in the conference standings and advancing to the BIG EAST Tournament.
Assistant coach Jalissa Trotter will serve as acting head coach as Butler begins a national search to identify the next leader of its volleyball program.
BUTLER WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
BULLDOGS AND BLUE DEMONS SET TO BATTLE WEDNESDAY NIGHT IN CHICAGO
INDIANAPOLIS— Butler and DePaul will meet for the second time this season on Feb. 8. Action at Wintrust Arena will get underway at 8 Eastern, 7 Central.
Date: Wednesday, Feb. 8
Time: 8:00 PM
Location: Chicago, Ill. – Wintrust Arena
Live Stats: DePaulBlueDemons.com – Statbroadcast
Watch: FloSports.com – BEDN
– Wednesday will be the 25th overall meeting between Butler and DePaul.
– Sydney Jaynes has scored in double figures in six of her last seven games.
– Jaynes led Butler with 16 points in the setback vs. Villanova. She added six boards and two steals.
– Jaynes ranks sixth in the BIG EAST in field goal percentage (50.8). She went 6-for-8 on Saturday.
– Jessica Carrothers ranks ninth in the BIG EAST in field goal percentage (50.0).
– Shay Frederick ranks seventh in the BIG EAST in 3-point field goal percentage (41.5).
– Frederick has made six 3-pointers over her last three games while shooting 60 percent from deep.
– Jordan Meulemans has hit multiple 3-pointers for Butler in three-straight games.
– Meulemans didn’t start vs. Villanova but led Butler in minutes played (28:52).
– Tenley Dowell played 20 minutes vs. Nova to move her career total to 1,600.
– Butler’s bench outscored Villanova 22-10.
– BU outrebounded Villanova 29-28. It was the first time they outrebounded their opponent since Jan. 11 at Georgetown.
– Butler went 11-for-12 from the free throw line against Villanova.
– BU made 17 free throws vs. DePaul in the first meeting, marking the second most made this season.
– Butler’s 72 points vs. DePaul earlier this year is tied for the fourth-most points scored by the team this season.
– Aneesah Morrow and Darrione Rogers combined for 53 points in their last game vs. Butler.
– That duo accounted for 21 of DePaul’s 27 points in the fourth quarter.
– The Bulldogs have used the same starting five unit in each of the last four games.
DePaul is 12-11 on the year with a 5-7 mark against conference foes. Aneesah Morrow and Tara Daye were each recognized by the BIG EAST office on Monday for winning Player and Freshman of the Week honors. Morrow averaged 32 points, eight rebounds, and 3.5 steals in games against Creighton and Xavier. She has 18 double-doubles this season and ranks second in the league in points (25.6) and first in rebounds (11.6). Daye led the BIG EAST in assists last week averaging 7.5 per game. She also gave the Blue Demons seven points and six rebounds per contest.
All-Time Series vs. DePaul
The Blue Demons are 23-1 all-time against Butler. The Bulldogs lone win in the series capped off the 2020-21 regular season. Butler upset #25 DePaul at Wintrust Arena by the final score of 86-81. These two programs have met on the hardwood 24 times with the first meeting coming during the 1984-85 campaign. Both Butler and DePaul were members of the North Star Conference.
Butler’s Last Game vs. DePaul
DePaul opened BIG EAST play with a 78-72 victory over Butler at Hinkle Fieldhouse. The Blue Demons executed at a high level down the stretch, shooting 91 percent from the field in the fourth quarter including a perfect five-for-five from downtown. Aneesah Morrow paced the Blue Demons with 28 points, 14 rebounds and five steals while Darrione Rogers poured in 25 points and handed out seven assists. Rachel McLimore led a trio of Bulldogs in double figures with 17 points.
DePaul’s Last Game
DePaul topped Xavier 93-48 at Wintrust Arena over the weekend. Aneesah Morrow tallied 30 points off 13-of-19 shooting while grabbing 11 boards as the Blue Demons halted their four-game skid. Morrow added seven steals as DePaul tallied 17 thefts on the afternoon. The game got underway with DePaul jumping out to a 21-7 lead and the Blue Demons would cruise to victory by adding 55 second half points. Kendall Holmes had 21, Darrione Rogers added 17 and Keke Rimmer came off the bench to score 15. Xavier’s Fernanda Ovalle went 7-for-7 from the field to score a team-high 16 points.
Behind the Arc
Butler ranks 6th in the NCAA and second in the BIG EAST in 3-point field goal percentage (38.3). The Bulldogs average 7.6 made 3-point field goals per game (3rd in the BIG EAST) and have made seven 3-pointers in three of their last four games. Shay Frederick and Jordan Meulemans came off the bench to supply BU with four of their seven 3-pointers vs. Villanova. The Bulldogs have four players with at least 20-made 3-pointers this season. Anna Mortag and Caroline Strande will join that group with their next make from long range.
Big Butler Upset
The last time Butler knocked off a nationally ranked team was on March 1, 2021 when they defeated #25 DePaul 86-81 at Wintrust Arena. Butler only averaged 57.2 points per game that season, but they shot 54 percent against the Blue Demons to post a season-high 86 points. All five starters reached double figures that day and the ‘Dawgs added 10 3-pointers to help them come out on top.
Rachel McLimore leads the team with her 10.8 scoring average. The only other Bulldog teams in program history to have a leading scorer average less than 11 points came in 2008-09 and 2001-02. The balanced scoring approach worked out great for the 2008-09 team. Butler went 20-12 that season and reached the WNIT. For this year’s club, (23 games) Butler has had six different players lead the team in scoring. McLimore has done it seven times, but only twice this calendar year.
The Bulldogs have lost five games this season where they held at least a one-point lead over the opposition in the fourth quarter. BU led Marquette (51-50) with 9:20 left; they led St. John’s (60-59) with 3:26 left; they led Illinois (51-50) with 7:40 left; they led DePaul (52-51) with 9:48 left, and they led IUPUI (55-54) with 2:51 left.
What a Half
Butler scored 49 second half points the first time they played DePaul on Dec. 4. That’s the second-highest scoring half for the Bulldogs this season trailing only the second half vs. Chicago State (53 pts). Butler’s best scoring output in the first half this season came at Xavier when they dropped 45 points on the Musketeers back on Dec. 28.
Former Blue Demon
Rachel McLimore played at DePaul as a freshman during the 2017-18 season. She appeared in 30 games off the bench that year and earned DePaul’s Shirley Becker Award and the 2018 Pat Ewers Unsung Hero Award. She sat out the following season due to NCAA Transfer Rules, but would return to her home state to play for Austin Parkinson at IUPUI for the next three years.
The 2023 BIG EAST women’s basketball tournament is less than one month away. If the tournament started this weekend, Butler would play as the No. 10 seed and face No. 7 seed DePaul. The winner of that contest would advance to the quarterfinals to play No. 2 seed Villanova. Other first round pairings would feature No. 6 seed Marquette playing No. 11 seed Xavier and No. 8 seed Georgetown playing No. 9 seed Providence. The tournament will be held in Uncasville, Conn. at Mohegan Sun Arena. Action starts March 3 and the championship game will air March 6 on FS1.
Butler has two road games on the schedule this week with trips setup to Chicago and Providence. The round trip to Wintrust Arena covers 356 miles and the travel to Alumni Hall is 1,832 miles round trip. Altogether, BU will travel roughly 2,200 miles this week nearly the same distance (2,400) that the Philadelphia Eagles will travel for their Super Bowl appearance on Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs in Glendale, Arizona. Tip between Butler and Providence on Saturday is scheduled for 1 PM.
IUPUI WOMEN’S GOLF
JAGUARS CARD FINAL ROUND 303 AT TEXAS STATE INVITATIONAL
KYLE, Texas – The IUPUI women’s golf team carded a final round 303 at the Texas State Invitational at Plum Creek Golf Course on Tuesday (Feb. 7), showing major strides from a day prior. Junior Annaliese Fox shot a 3-over 74 to lead the way and classmate Madeleine Pape finished a strong out with a 4-over 75 to cap the event.
As a team, IUPUI showed marked improvements from day one to day two, closing the event at 942 (322-317-303).
“It was nice to finally play outside and hit off actual grass,” Pape said. “Despite the outcome, I am proud of the team for fighting for every shot and keeping our heads up. It was a good first tournament to knock the rust off and show us what weaknesses to target before we travel to Louisiana in a few weeks.”
Pape made four birdies during her final round, including three in a four hole span early in her day. Fox opened with a birdie and strung together 10 straight pars at one point, sitting a 1-over for much of the day. Shelby Busker shot a final round 76 with three birdies on her scorecard and sophomore Nerea Lancho closed at 78.
Fifth-year senior Kara Blair put up her third straight round of 79 and true freshman Yanah Rolston shot 6-over 77 while playing as an individual. Rolston had back-to-back birdies midway through her round as four different IUPUI players made birdie on the short par-4, No. 16.
Texas State breezed to the team title at 859, clearing second-place Cincinnati by 34 strokes. TSU’s Mattingly Palmer edged teammate Marine Griffaut by a single shot for medalist honors, closing at 1-under 212 (70-75-67).
Pape led the IUPUI squad at 232 (77-80-75) to tie for 26th among the 49-player field and Fox tied for 34th at 236 (84-78-74). Blair closed at 237 (79-79-79) and Busker finished at 239 (82-81-76).
Lancho ended her tournament at 244 (86-80-78) and Rolston closed at 236 (79-80-77) to match Fox.
Pape had a team-high seven birdies for the week while Fox led the team with 28 pars.
IUPUI will return to action on Feb. 27-28 when it competes in the Tchefuncta Invitational in Covington, La.
BALL STATE MEN’S BASKETBALL
FIVE CARDINALS FINISH IN DOUBLE FIGURES IN VICTORY OVER CHIPPEWAS
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – The Ball State men’s basketball team was back on the road with a Mid-American Conference matchup against Central Michigan on Tuesday. For the second-straight game, the Cardinals had five players in double digits. Mickey Pearson Jr. produced a team-high 13 points as BSU defeated CMU 65-51.
Ball State improved to 17-7 overall and 8-3 in MAC play, while Central Michigan fell to 8-16 overall and 3-8 in league play. The 17-7 record is the best start since the Cardinals started 1997-98 with a 21-7 record.
“I’m really proud of our effort defensively,” said Head Coach Michael Lewis. “We were on pace to give up 120 at the first media timeout. We gave up 11 in the first four minutes of the game and then 40 for the last 36 minutes. Really proud of our defensive effort. Offensively, I thought we had some silly turnovers. There will always be things that we can clean up. To travel up here and come out and compete the way that we did, I’m really proud of our defensive effort. You hold guys to 51, you’re going to have an opportunity to win a lot of games.”
Pearson led the Cardinals with 13 points and brought down six rebounds. He posted back-to-back games in double figures. Demarius Jacobs finished in double digits for the second-straight game with 12 points. He added three rebounds, tied for a team-best three assists, and one block. Jaylin Sellers produced his third-straight game in double figures with 12 points. Sellers collected four rebounds and two assists. Payton Sparks recorded a double-double for his second-straight game with 11 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Sparks blocked a game-high two shots to go along with two assists and a steal. Basheer Jihad closed out the double-digit scorers with 10 points. He collected six rebounds, tied a career high with three steals, and dished out one assist.
The Chippewas opened the game with a 12-5 run that ended with 16:05 left in the first stanza. The Cardinals were unfazed and answered with a 7-0 run. Basheer Jihad capped off the run with a layup, despite the foul. He converted the and-1 opportunity to tie the game, 12-12, with 11:52 left in the first.
The runs continued, as CMU outscored BSU 9-3 over the next 2:28, to retake the lead, 21-15. The Cardinals were resilient once again. Ball State responded with an 11-0 run to regain the lead, 26-21, with 5:31 left in the half. During the run, Sellers secured a long rebound and went the length of the court for an emphatic dunk.
The remaining 5:27 was a back-and-forth battle as the two squads traded baskets. The Cardinals outscored the Chippewas 11-10 and took a 37-31 lead into the break.
Central Michigan scored the first four points of the second half to cut the Ball State lead to just two, 37-35. The Cardinals bounced back and scored seven unanswered to extend the lead to 44-35 with 14:34 left on the clock.
The next 6:54 was a back-and-forth affair as BSU outscored CMU 12-11 and took a 56-46 lead. The Cardinals ended the game with a 9-5 run to claim a 65-51 victory. During the final 12:15 of play, Ball State was 11-15 from the free-throw line and did not turn the ball over.
Brian Taylor produced a game-high 20 points for Central Michigan. Taylor had a team-high seven rebounds, two assists, one block, and one assist. Markus Harding was the only other Chippewa in double figures with 11 points. He added three rebounds and a block. Reggie Bass led the team with a game-high eight assists to go along with his nine points.
Ball State returns to the friendly confines of Worthen Arena on Saturday, Feb. 11, as Bowling Green makes the trip to Muncie. Tip is slated for 2 p.m.
BALL STATE WOMEN’S GOLF
DRISCOLL LEADS CARDINALS AT FALCON FLORIDA CLASSIC
LAKEWOOD RANCH, Fla. – The Ball State women’s golf team closed out the Falcon Florida Classic on the Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club on Tuesday. Jasmine Driscoll led the Cardinals and tied for 19th, as BSU finished eighth.
Driscoll, who started on the 10th hole, finished her first nine with a birdie on the par-5 18th and followed that with birdies on the first and second holes, for three-consecutive birdies. She recorded a 72 (E). She moved up 13 spots into a tie for 19th with a three-round total of 222 (+6). Her eight birdies led BSU for the three rounds.
Kiah Parrott climbed 12 spots on the leaderboard into a tie for 25th with a three-round tally of 224 (+8). She produced a final-round score of 73 (+1) with three birdies, including back-to-back to start her round. She collected seven birdies for the tournament.
Sarah Gallagher and Madelin Boyd tied for 41st with a three-round mark of 227 (+11). Gallagher recorded a final round of 75 (+3) with one birdie. She notched five birdies for the three rounds. Boyd finished with a round of 77 (+5) with one birdie and posted four birdies for the tournament.
Peyton Broce produced a final-round score of 76 (+4) with one birdie. Her three-round mark of 288 (+12) earned her a tie for 44th. She tallied five birdies for the tournament.
“It was an encouraging start to the spring portion of our season,” said Head Coach Cam Andry. “We played some stretches of solid golf, but we weren’t quite sharp enough with wedges and the putter to shoot the low numbers needed to keep pace this week. Even still, there are some really positive things for us to build on.”
Ball State returns to the course on Friday, Feb. 24, for the WMU Rio Verde Invitational. The Cardinals take to the Rio Verde Country Club – Quail Run Course in Rio Verde, Arizona.
1. Northern Illinois – 850 (-14)
2. Idaho – 861 (-3)
3. Toledo – 868 (+4)
4. Illinois State – 870 (+6)
5. Western Michigan – 883 (+19)
6. Central Michigan – 889 (+25)
7. Bowling Green – 897 (+33)
8. Ball State – 898 (+34)
9. Western Illinois – 904 (+40)
10. Eastern Michigan – 906 (+42)
11. Akron – 912 (+48)
12. Ohio – 914 (+50)
BALL STATE MEN’S GOLF
THE CARDINALS TAKE HOME FIRST PLACE IN THE EARL YESTINGSMEIER MATCH PLAY
DADE CITY, Florida – The Ball State men’s golf team came out on top at the Earl Yestingsmeier Match Play after defeating Drake University in the championship match today.
Similar to the Cardinals’ first two rounds of the Earl Yestingsmeier Match play, the championship was a close battle from the start. Ali Khan and Carter Smith each collected ties against their opponents. Ball State’s Griffin Hare tallied a 4&2 win and Colin Nasser finished with a 1UP win to give the Cardinals the upper hand, winning in the tie breaker and securing first place.
“I’m very excited for these guys! We put in the time on the correct things during the off season to be ready to go,” head coach Mike Fleck said. “Our goal was to come to Lake Jovita and compete to win, and we did just that. It’s also nice to get contributions from all six guys. We fought hard in our last two matches to grind out wins. Great start to the spring, now we build on this one!”
The Cardinals are set to compete next at the Dorado Beach Collegiate on Feb. 26-28 when they travel to Dorado, Puerto Rico.
Ball State (3-0 in matches)
Drake Univesity (2-1)
Loyola University (2-1)
High Point University (1-2)
Eastern Michigan University (2-1)
University of Dayton (1-2)
Western Kentucky University (1-2)
Central Michigan University (0-3)
BALL STATE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL TRAVELS TO EASTERN MICHIGAN WEDNESDAY FOR MACTION
Game 24 | Ball State (19-4, 9-1 MAC) vs. Eastern Michigan (12-9, 4-6 MAC)
Feb. 8 | Ypsilanti, Mich. | George Gervin GameAbove Center | 7 pm ET
– The Ball State women’s basketball team looks to improve to a 10-1start in Mid-American Conference play for the first time since the 2001-02 season when the Cardinals also went 10-1 that year.
– Ball State is looking to extend its win streak to eight when it travels to Eastern Michigan Wednesday for a 7 pm ET tipoff in the George Gervin GameAbove Center. Currently, the Cardinals are tied for first place in the Mid-American Conference standings with Bowling Green.
– The Cardinals team effort went unmatched Saturday against the Golden Flashes as Ball State moved past Kent State 80-71 to remain undefeated this season at home with an 12-0 record. For the game, Madelyn Bischoff led the Cardinals with 20 points.
– Eastern Michigan is looking to pick up its second-straight league win after defeating Central Michigan, 68-54, Saturday, Feb. 4. The Eagles have also earned conference wins over Miami (68-67), Northern Illinois (66-61 OT) and Western Michigan (63-51).
– Wednesday’s game against Eastern Michigan will mark the 88th time in program history the two schools have met with the Eagles leading the all-time series, 45-42.
– Head coach Brady Sallee holds an overall record of 13-9 against Eastern Michigan from 2012-13 to present.
– A Cardinal win will give Brady Sallee his sixth 20-win season at Ball State.
– Ball State 11th-year head coach Brady Sallee knows how to win in the month of February. Under Sallee, the Cardinals have a 46-30 (.600) overall record for the shortest month of the year. Sallee’s most successful February was in 2019-20 after the Cardinals posted a 7-1 record that year.
In the Nation:
Nationally the Cardinals rank 14th in scoring offense (79.2), 23rd in 3-pointers per game (8.4), 46th in 3-point field goal attempts (24.3), 12th in field goal percentage (47.0), 18th in assists per game (17.2), 30th in scoring margin (13.3), 14th in assist/turnover ratio (1.26) and 19th in winning percentage (82.6). Individually, Ally Becki is 9th in assist/turnvoer ration (2.66). The Cardinals currently sit at No. 7 in the latest College Insider Mid-Major Top 25 poll, the second highest of any MAC team.
When BSU Score 80 or More We Win:
When the Cardinals score 80+ points this season it results in a victory for Ball State. The Cardinals are 9-0 when the reach the 80 point plateau with wins over Indiana University East (105-51), Butler (84-68), Utah State (80-55), Western Kentucky (82-76), Saint Louis (85-51), Tarleton State (80-77), Chicago State (119-53), Bowling Green (81-73), Miami (92-61), Buffalo (81-59), Akron (89-66) and Kent State (80-71).
NOTRE DAME WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
MILES NOTCHES SPOT ON NAISMITH 2023 MIDSEASON TEAM
ATLANTA, Ga. — With less than a month until conference championship season, Notre Dame guard Olivia Miles continues to earn national recognition. On Tuesday, the 5-10 point guard out of Phillipsburg, N.J., was one of 30 players across the country to earn a spot on the 2023 Jersey Mike’s Naismith Midseason Team. Miles was also included on the watch list earlier this year.
Miles leads Notre Dame this year in points (15.1), rebounds (7.1), assists (6.9) and steals (2.1). Her 6.7 defensive rebounds per game ranks 13th nationally amongst guards, and she is one of just two players in the country averaging at least 15 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists per game (Caitlin Clark, Iowa).
“I try to never take what she brings to the table for granted,” Karen and Kevin Keyes Family Head Coach Niele Ivey said this week.
Miles is so consistent that her stat lines often don’t even stick out anymore; double-doubles or near double-digit assists are just another day for her. She has been in double figures points-wise for all but two games this year, and has posted 10+ assists five times. With 22 points and 10 assists at Boston College on Feb. 2, Miles became the first Notre Dame player since at least 1999 to post 20+ points and 10+ assists twice in her Irish career. Former Irish greats and current WNBA guards Skylar Diggins, Marina Mabrey and Jackie Young each did it once while in South Bend.
In addition to the Naismith honors, Miles was recently named to both the John Wooden Late Season Top 20 and is one of 10 finalists for the 2023 Nancy Lieberman Award, which goes to the nation’s best point guard.
The full list of 30 women on the Naismith Midseason Team can be found here. South Carolina’s Aliyah Boston won the 2022 award. Ruth Riley is the only Notre Dame player to earn the laurels (2001).
NOTRE DAME MEN’S BASKETBALL
GAME PREVIEW 24 – ONE LAST TEST WITH THE RAMBLIN WRECK
ATLANTA – The Notre Dame men’s basketball time will hit the road to Atlanta for a midweek contest, and with this road trip comes a great opportunity to finally get the proverbial road monkey off their back. The Fighting Irish (10-13, 2-10) have been so close in road contests this year (Syracuse, Florida State and NC State to name a few) but still seek that coveted first road victory. They’ll square off against rival Georgia Tech on Wednesday, Feb. 8, at 7 p.m. ET inside McCamish Pavilion. The game will air on RSN and will also be broadcast on the Notre Dame Radio Network.
ONE LAST TIME WITH GEORGIA TECH
Notre Dame has waged some battles over Brey’s tenure with Georgia Tech as the departing head coach as a 13-7 record against the Yellow Jackets. Of those 20 games, 12 were decided by five points or less and 18 were decided by single digits!
Case in point, two of the last three games between the two have gone to overtime.
On Jan. 10 of this year, the Irish gutted a 73-72 OT victory at home. Down seven points with 2:20 to go in regulation, the Irish stormed back to tie it at 65-all and even had a chance to win it a the buzzer. Then fought punch-for-punch in overtime, as a last-second defensive stand sealed it. Dane Goodwin was everywhere with a team-high 19 points and a career-best 12 rebounds, marking the first double-double of the season and the fifth of his career. Goodwin connected on a pivotal three in overtime, his lone trey of the game. Freshman JJ Starling also shone bright with 16 points.
Then it was the last time the Irish were in McCamish Pavilion, when they gutted out a 72-68 OT victory on Jan. 8, 2022. As far as returners go, Goodwin led with 14 points – all in teh second half.
THREAT FROM THREE
Notre Dame’s offense may struggle from time to time, but you can’t argue with the team’s three-point shooting ability. The Irish rank 2nd in the ACC in made three-pointers per game and 29th in the country, converting 9.0 per game. They also rank 3rd in three-point shooting percentage (.367). They’re 9.0 threes per game would rank 6th all-time in program history – the program record is 9.7 set by the 19-20 squad.
Since Nov. 30 (17 games), Notre Dame has knocked down 162 three-pointers (9.5 per game) which ranks 2nd behind Alabama amongst Power-Five schools since that date.
23 IN ‘23
Goodwin just ended his best offensive stretch of the season – 10 straight games in double figures from Dec. 27-Jan. 28. He amassed 131 points in that span, averaging 13.1 ppg. It marked the 2nd time of his collegiate career reaching a double-digit scoring streak mark – his career best is 20 from the 21-22 season.
Now in 2023 (9 games), Goodwin is averaging 12.3 ppg (111 points) – which ranks 2nd on the team behind Laszewski for that time span. He’s also been more active on the glass in 2023 grabbing 62 boards aka 6.9 rpg – that number leads the team.
“THAT WAS MARCUS HAMMOND”
Marcus Hammond is starting to get in a groove as of late and be that guy that Coach Brey thought he could be for the Irish.
Four double-digit scoring performances in the last 6 games. He led the team in scoring in two of them (Syracuse + BC, Jan. 14-17) –> had back-to-back games with a season high in made threes (4+5). Hammond is averaging 12.2 ppg over said 6-game span (73 points).
Hammond recently produced his first double-double of the season, and 5th of his career, with 11 points and 10 rebounds at NC State.
JJ STEPS UP
Freshman JJ Starling showed up and showed out with a game high 22 points, helping lift the Irish to the 76-62 victory over Louisville.
Starling had 16 points at the half and ultimately finished one shy of his season high of 23. The New York native was 9-of-16 from the field and grabbed six boards as well.
And how about this – last 3 games – 48 points on 20-of-39 shooting.
ALSO TRENDING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION
Cormac Ryan has produced 4 straight games in double figures, amassing 55 points in that span (13.8 ppg). Most recently, he recorded a career high of 8 assists to go with his 11 points against Louisville.
Ryan is averaging a career best 11.5 ppg. He’s also 7 three-pointers away from 200 in his career.
GAMES GETTING AWAY
The Irish have now had 4 ACC games in which they’ve garnered double-digit leads, only to succumb to the opponent’s rally.
Largest Leads Given Out in Loss This Season
12 vs Wake Forest (12:45 in 1H), 2/4/23
12 at Syracuse (12:54 in 2H), 1/14/23
11 at Florida State (10:41 in 1H), 12/21/22
10 at Boston College (17:53 in 2H), 1/3/23
And what’s tough specifically about the Syracuse and Boston College losses was that Notre Dame led for almost the entire game in both. Take this stat – in those two games, Notre Dame led for a combined 63:38 out of the 80 minutes.
Recently against Wake Forest on Feb. 4 – the Irish held Demon Deacons scoreless for an 8-minute stretch in the first half, only to garner a 16-4 lead out of it. It was a one-point game at the half with ND down 27-26, before giving up 54 points in the 2nd half.
THE ABILITY TO RALLY BUT …
The game at NC State on Jan. 24 was a rollercoaster and intriguing one. The Irish went down 11 points in the first half, then rallied to go up 7 and take a halftime lead. They then went down 9 points in the 2nd half to rally to cut it to one before falling 85-82. It marked their highest points total on the road this season.
Much in the same in the losses to Florida State and Boston College the week prior. Against FSU, the Irish twice found themselves down 24 and twice rallied to cut it to a two-possession game, but just couldn’t get over that final hump. Against BC, the Irish rallied down 14 points to take a lead in the 2nd half, but ultimately ran into an Eagles team that shot 71.4 percent in the 2nd half to close out the 84-72 win.
NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL
REPORT: NOTRE DAME HAS BEEN IN CONTACT WITH A FORMER NFL OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR
When Tommy Rees left for Alabama, it left a sizable hole the Marcus Freeman needed to fill for Notre Dame. Not much has happened in the search aside from many of pondering who the Irish could go after but today some news of a candidate came out.
Byron Leftwich, former Marshall quarterback and recently the offensive coordinator of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, has been in contact with Freeman and has continued to stay in contact per a report from 247Sports Grace Remington.
After a ten-year career in the NFL, which included being Ben Roethlisberger’s backup when the Pittsburgh Steelers won Super Bowl XLIII, Leftwich took a few years off before getting into coaching. He rose quickly with the Arizona Cardinals before moving to the Bucs.
He would then help them win Super Bowl LV as their offensive coordinator before he was let go after this past season. That experience would surely be looked at as a positive but Leftwich’s lack of recruiting might be looked at as a negative. Either way, he is on the list of potential candidates for Freeman.
Byron Leftwich reached out to Notre Dame about the OC position last week, per source. He and Marcus Freeman have stayed in contact as Leftwich remains a serious candidate for the job.
INDIANA STATE BASEBALL
JACHEC, MAGILL NAMED TO PRESEASON ALL-MVC TEAM; SYCAMORES FOURTH IN VALLEY BASEBALL POLL
ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Indiana State’s Matt Jachec and Grant Magill were named to the 2023 Missouri Valley preseason All-Conference baseball team, while the Sycamores were picked to finish fourth overall in the preseason poll as announced by the league office on Tuesday morning. The team and poll are determined by a vote from each head coach.
Jachec garners the preseason nod for the first time in his career after a breakout 2022 campaign on the mound. The preseason Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Third Team All-American posted the lowest ERA by a starting pitcher in the Missouri Valley (2.88) while finishing second in the MVC with 97.0 innings pitched. Jachec went at least 5.2 innings in all 14 starts in 2022 and added eight quality starts on the year in leading the Sycamores.
Jachec saved arguably the conference’s most dominant pitching performance for the MVC Tournament. He carried a perfect game into the ninth inning in an elimination contest against Valparaiso needing just 83 pitches on his way to retiring the first 24 batters he faced. He added 10 strikeouts in the contest, including striking out the side in the third inning before turning the ball over to the bullpen in the ninth.
Jachec finished up with a Valley-leading nine wins on the mound while sitting sixth in the conference with 80 strikeouts (28 looking). His control on the mound was a major factor to his success as he led the Valley in only surrendering nine walks on the year to sit among the NCAA leaders in both strikeout-to-walk ratio (8.89, 4th in NCAA) and walks allowed per nine innings (0.84, 3rd in NCAA).
Magill also picked up preseason honors for the first time in his collegiate career. The redshirt junior catcher earned 2022 MVC All-Defensive honors behind the plate after routinely shutting down the opponents’ run game.
The Highlands Ranch, Colo. native record an MVC-leading six pickoffs in the 2022 season and threw out 12 baserunners attempting to steal on the year. He was even better in conference play throwing out six runners in 13 chances.
At the plate, Magill hit .295 with seven extra-base hits, including a home run in the series opener against Kansas. He finished fourth on the team with 26 RBI and added three five sacrifice flies.
The Sycamores were selected fourth overall in the preseason poll behind Southern Illinois, Missouri State, and Evansville. ISU garnered 75 total points and a first-place vote in the poll as voted on by the league’s head coaches.
ISU looks to bounce back from a tough 26-22-1 overall record in 2022 with a 10-10-1 mark in conference play. The Sycamores return the bulk of their lineup that hit a conference-leading .300 from the plate including All-Conference selections Seth Gergely (.326), Josue Urdaneta (.321), and Randal Diaz (.304), in addition to Magill and Jachec.
ISU also welcomes back depth to the pitching staff with the return of Jachec, as well as 2022 starters Luke Patzner, Jared Spencer, and Brennyn Cutts. The Sycamores also boast one of the best bullpen tandems in the conference with the return of aces Connor Fenlong and Joey Hurth.
Southern Illinois was voted the preseason favorite receiving 93 points and six first-place votes. Missouri State picked up 87 points and three first-place nods, while Evansville posted 79 total points. Bradley (58), Belmont (53), Illinois State (35), UIC (25), Murray State (23), and Valparaiso (22) round out the poll.
The Sycamores open up the 2023 season at the Snowbird Baseball Classic on February 17-18 in Port Charlotte, Fla. as Indiana State takes on Iowa and Quinnipiac over the opening weekend.
Games will be streamed live on pay-per-view via FloSports.com.
PURDUE FT. WAYNE MEN’S VOLLEYBALL
MASTODON MEN’S VOLLEYBALL OPENS MIVA PLAY THIS WEEK
FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Purdue Fort Wayne men’s volleyball is set for three matches this week, including the first two in MIVA play. The Mastodons will visit Maryville and MIVA foes Lindenwood and Quincy.
Game Day Information (Wednesday)
Who: Maryville Saints
When: Wednesday, February 8 | 8 PM ET
Where: St. Louis, Mo. | Moloney Arena
Live Stats: Link
Game Notes: Purdue Fort Wayne | Maryville | MIVA
Game Day Information (Friday)
Who: Lindenwood Lions
When: Friday, February 10 | 8 PM ET
Where: St. Charles, Mo. | Hyland Arena
Live Stats: Link
Game Notes: Purdue Fort Wayne | Lindenwood | MIVA
Game Day Information (Saturday)
Who: Quincy Hawks
When: Saturday, February 11 | 8 PM ET
Where: Quincy, Ill. | Pepsi Arena
Live Stats: Link
Game Notes: Purdue Fort Wayne | Quincy | MIVA
Know Your Foes
• Maryville is 2-6 and is coming off their second win of the year against Culver-Stockton. This snapped the six-match losing streak the Saints were on prior to Friday’s match. Maryville beat Kentucky State in the season opener. The Saints have played four MIVA schools: Ohio State (3-0), Quincy (3-0), Loyola Chicago (3-1), Lewis (3-0). The Saints are led by Victor Ganev, who is averaging 2.04 kills per set.
• Lindenwood is 2-5 to start the year, with its two wins coming against NJIT and Missouri S&T. The Lions have played four ranked matches this year: two at Grand Canyon, one against USC and one at Long Beach State. Ian Schuller and A.J. Lewis are leading Lindenwood, both averaging over three kills per set. Lewis had 11 kills, eight digs and four aces against Missouri S&T.
• Quincy is 4-4 with wins over Limestone, Maryville, Missouri S&T and Saint Ambrose. The Hawks are coming off a three-set loss to Grand View. The Hawks are led by Raje Alleyne, who is averaging a MIVA-best 4.60 kills per set while still hitting .326. He was named the MIVA Offensive Player of the Week, joining his teammate Dominik Wagiel as one of two Hawks to earn Player of the Week.
• Purdue Fort Wayne is 1-0 against Maryville all-time, with the only matchup coming last season. The Mastodons beat the Saints 3-0, with Jon Diedrich picking up 15 kills.
• The Mastodons lead the all-time series against Lindenwood 13-8, which includes the last two matchups. Jon Diedrich had 24 kills in the most recent matchup on April 2, 2022. Lindenwood’s last win came in 2021 in St. Charles.
• Purdue Fort Wayne has dominated the all-time series against Quincy 52-8. The Mastodons are on a three-game winning streak, all three were 3-0 sweeps. The Hawks’ last win came in 2020 in Quincy.
Purdue Fort Wayne leads the MIVA and is third in the country with 2.88 blocks per set. Bryce Walker (1.10), Mark Frazier (0.97), Jon Diedrich (0.76) and Sergio Carrillo (0.72) are all in the top-15 in the MIVA in blocks per set.
Bryce the Beast
Bryce Walker is second in the MIVA with a career hitting percentage of .348. The only player better than him is Parker Van Buren of Loyola Chicago at .349.
Zach Solomon is the MIVA career leader with 0.43 aces per set
Yes, No (ah), Maybe
Noah Melendez is the active career leader in Division I/II with 676 digs in his five years. The next closest is McKendree’s Francisco Comas with 625.
Sergio Carrillo has the second-most career assists among all Division I/II student-athletes with 2,759 in his five seasons. Cole Bogner of Penn State is the active leader with 3,330.
Mark It Down
After playing in just five matches in his freshman season, Mark Frazier is second on the team with 3.07 kills per set. He has reached double-figure kills six times already this season.
Jon Diedrich is on pace to join the 1,000-kill club while at Purdue Fort Wayne. He has 844 kills and has averaged 3.43 kills per set in his career. If he continues this pace, he will hit the 1,000 mark in 45 sets.
Jon Diedrich had a season-high 27 kills at George Mason on February 4. This was the most he had since his collegiate debut. It is also the third-most in the country in five-set matches this season.
Last Time Out
Purdue Fort Wayne went 2-0 at the DC Challenge, topping Mount Olive 3-0 and George Mason 3-2. Jon Diedrich had 27 kills against George Mason, the most for him since his collegiate opener.
The Mastodons will play host to Ohio State and Ball State as MIVA play continues.
EVANSVILLE WOMEN’S GOLF
ENCHELMAYER FINISHES SECOND AT MOTOR CITY CLASSIC
ORLANDO, Fla. – An outstanding day for the University of Evansville women’s golf team saw Allison Enchelmayer come home in second place while the Purple Aces made the jump to third place in the final standings of the Motor City Classic.
Enchelmayer completed the third round at Rio Pinar Country Club with a 2-over 74. Combined with her other scores of 73 and 77, she tallied a 224. Enchelmayer came in just one stroke behind Creighton’s Eleanor Hudepohl, who was the medalist.
Kate Petrova earned a top five finish of her own. Highlighted by scores of 74 in the first two rounds, Petrova carded a 79 on Tuesday to tie for 4th with a 227.
Taking third on the UE squad was Mallory Russell. Registering an 80 in round three, Russell posted a 238, which tied her for 18th place. Magdalena Borisova tied for 21st with a 3-round score of 240. Borisova had her top round of the weekend on Tuesday, shooting a 3-over 75.
Alyssa McMinn wrapped up the last round with an 84. Her final score checked in at 253 strokes. Caitlin O’Donnell placed 36th with a scored of 267.
UE combined for the lowest team score of the day with a 308. The Aces jumped into third place in the final standings with a 929. Oakland took top honors with a 917 while Creighton was seven strokes behind with a 924.
On February 25, the ladies will be back on the course for the Bright Creek Intercollegiate in Mill Springs, N.C.
EVANSVILLE MEN’S BASKETBALL
MEN’S BASKETBALL HOSTS UNI ON WEDNESDAY
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – Set to complete the regular season series, the University of Evansville men’s basketball team welcomes Northern Iowa to the Ford Center on Wednesday evening. Tip is set for 7 p.m. CT with the Purple Aces Radio Network and ESPN+ having the coverage.
Setting the Scene
– On December 3, the teams opened the season series in Cedar Falls with the Panthers 72-55 victory
– After trailing by a 38-20 score at halftime, the Purple Aces outscored the Panthers by a 35-34 margin in the second half
– Kenny Strawbridge Jr. led the Aces with 17 points while UNI saw Bowen Born register 29 points
Last Time Out
– UE led by as many as 10 points in the first half before UIC rallied in the second half to take a 70-61 win on Saturday in Chicago
– In the first half, the Aces jumped out to a 26-16 lead before the Flames countered with a 48-18 stretch to put the game out of reach
– Trailing by 20 with 3:14 remaining, UE rallied to get within nine points
– Strawbridge paced UE with 20 points
– Kenny Strawbridge Jr. led all players with 20 points in Saturday’s game at UIC
– It marked his first 20-point game since Dec. 21 versus Bellarmine and was his 8th such effort of the season
– Over his last two games, Strawbridge has shot 48.8% while tallying 15 PPG
– In the nine games before, he converted just 36.0% of his attempts (41/114)
– He was 7-for-10 from the field versus Indiana State and has chipped in at least 8 points in 24 out of 25 games
– He continues to lead the Aces while sitting 9th in the MVC with his season average of 15.1 points per game
Another Career Mark
– Hitting 8 out of 16 attempts in the home game against Indiana State, Yacine Toumi registered a career-high 19 points
– Toumi is averaging 13.2 points in his last five games while shooting 44.3% (27/61)
– His 19-point game passes his previous high of 18, which came twice this season (Campbell and Valpo)
– On the boards, Toumi is tied for 12th in the MVC with an average of 6.0 per game
– He has grabbed at least five rebounds in 12 of the last 13 contests while raising his season average from 5.1 to 6.0 per game
– His top tally of 11 came in the win over Bellarmine and had nine at UIC
Scouting the Opponent
– Falling in their last three games, Northern Iowa enters Wednesday’s game with an overall record of 12-12 and a mark of 8-6 in the Valley
– Three Panthers are averaging double figures, led by Bowen Born’s tally of 18.9 point per game
– Born paces the team with 67 assists and a total of 63 3-point makes
– In the first meeting on Dec. 3, Bron led all players with 29 points on 10-of-21 shooting
– Tytan Anderson checks in with 12.5 points and a team-best 9.2 rebounds
– Michael Daux comes into the game with a 10.1 PPG average
FOUR NAMED TO PRESEASON ALL-MVC TEAM AS ACES PICKED THIRD IN PRESEASON POLL
ST. LOUIS, Mo. – With just 10 days left until the start of the 2023 season, the Missouri Valley Conference has announced its preseason team and poll.
Four Aces were selected to the 13-member preseason all-MVC team, the most of any team in The Valley. Selected to the preseason team were junior pitcher Nick Smith, senior outfielder Mark Shallenberger, senior third baseman Brent Widder, and junior shortstop Simon Scherry.
Evansville was picked third in the MVC preseason coaches poll after finishing the 2022 regular season in second in the conference. SIU was selected as the favorite to repeat as champion, earning six first-place votes, while Missouri State was picked second and earned three first-place votes.
The Aces open the 2023 season on Friday, February 17th with a three-game slate against Troy in Troy, Alabama.
SOUTHERN INDIANA MEN’S BASKETBALL
EAGLES ON THE ROAD THURSDAY, CELEBRATE SENIOR DAY SATURDAY
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – University of Southern Indiana Men’s Basketball returns to action this week with one on the road and one at home in the Ohio Valley Conference. USI is slated to visit Tennessee Tech University Thursday at 8 p.m. and host Lindenwood University for Senior Night Saturday at 8 p.m.
Thursday’s USI-TTU contest will air live on ESPNU and will be the Screaming Eagles second national broadcast of the year. A watch party, sponsored by the USI Varsity Club and the USI Alumni Association, will be at Buffalo Wild Wings on Pearl Drive. Fans wishing to attend the watch party need to register by February 8 (Wednesday).
Prior to the USI-Lindenwood game Saturday, USI will honor its seniors – guard Tyler Henry (Brooklyn, New York), guard Jelani Simmons (Columbus, Ohio), forward Jacob Polakovich (Grand Radpids, Michigan), forward Trevor Lakes (Lebanon, Indiana) – in a ceremony prior to the tipoff. The game has been moved a special 8 p.m. start due to Senior Night activities.
The Screaming Eagles (13-12, 6-6 OVC) hope to snap a three-game losing streak this week and get back on track. USI fell short during Homecoming Week, falling to Tennessee State University, 80-76, and to Morehead State University, 71-66, in overtime.
For the season, sophomore guard Isaiah Swope (Newburgh, Indiana) is USI’s top scorer with 14.2 points per game after averaging 22.5 points last week. Simmons and Lakes follow with 14.0 points and 13.4 points per outing, respectively, while Polakovich is averaging 11.9 points per outing along with grabbing a team-best and OVC-best 12.8 rebounds per game.
The Golden Eagles of TTU (11-14, 7-5 OVC) hope to stay hot after their upset win over Southeast Missouri State University Saturday, 82-80. TTU is 2-3 in the last five games and led by graduate forward Jaylen Sebree, who leads the Golden Eagles with 14.5 points and 7.0 rebounds per game.
Thursday’s match-up will be the first meeting between the USI and TTU men’s basketball teams.
The Lindenwood Lions snapped a seven-game losing streak by sweeping a pair of home games last week. Lindenwood defeated Eastern Illinois University, 80-67, and the University of Tennessee at Martin, 80-75. The Lions are led by senior guard Chris Childs, who is posting 12.9 points per game.
All 2022-23 games are normally streamed on ESPN+ in addition to being heard on ESPN 97.7FM and 95.7FM The Spin.
Purchase All-Session Passes to the OVC Tournament, Support USI Athletics
The Ohio Valley Conference Tournament will be held at the Ford Center in Downtown Evansville March 1 through March 4. USI Athletics is offering a special discount on All-Session Ticket Books through February 24.
Purchase a Ticket Book through USI Athletics and attend ALL EIGHT SESSIONS for ONLY $60 (adult single session tickets are $30 & $20 for men’s sessions and $15 for women’s sessions + fees). This special offer allows you to avoid ticket fees AND $30 from each ticket book sold comes back to support USI student athletes. Ticket books purchased through USI Athletics will be available for pickup on campus prior to the first session at the Ford Center on March 1 and specific details on pickup will accompany your purchase confirmation.
SOFTBALL SET TO OPEN 2023 CAMPAIGN AT ROSEMONT DOME
Valparaiso (0-0, 0-0 MVC)
Feb. 9-11 – at DePaul Dome Tournament (Rosemont, Ill.)
Feb. 9 – at DePaul (0-0) – 3:30 p.m. | vs. Saint Louis (0-0) – 6 p.m.
Feb. 10 – vs. Western Illinois (0-0) – 5:30 p.m.
Feb. 11 – vs. Bowling Green (0-0) – noon | vs. Eastern Kentucky (0-0) – 2:30 p.m.
Next Up in Valpo Softball: The Valpo softball team opens up the 2023 campaign this weekend at the DePaul Dome Tournament in Rosemont, Ill. The Beacons will open the season against the host Blue Demons on Thursday afternoon and follow with games against Saint Louis, Western Illinois, Bowling Green and Eastern Kentucky over a three-day stretch.
Looking Ahead: The Beacons will take a weekend away from competition before returning to action Feb. 24-26 with five games at The Spring Games in Madeira Beach, Fla.
Following Valpo Softball: No video streams will be available this weekend. Four of the five games (with the exception of the Western Illinois game) will have live stats available via ValpoAthletics.com.
Head Coach Meaggan Pettipiece: Meaggan Pettipiece was hired in September 2022 as head coach of the Valpo softball program. Pettipiece brings over a decade of experience as a collegiate head coach, most recently the last three seasons at the Division I level at Akron. Prior to her time at Akron, Pettipiece spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Kent State and was head coach at Northwood for 10 years. Pettipiece, who owns 250 career coaching victories, was an All-American on the diamond and helped California University of Pennsylvania to a D-II national title in 1998 collegiately before playing internationally for Team Canada, including at the 2000 Summer Olympics.
Series Notes: DePaul – Valpo is just 1-45-1 all-time against the Blue Demons and fell to DePaul last season in the season opener at The Dome, 8-0. The two programs previously shared conference affiliation in the North Star Conference and the Mid-Continent Conference.
Saint Louis – Valpo owns a 5-3 edge in the all-time series over the Billikens, but only one of those matchups has come since 1997 – a 3-2 SLU win in nine innings at The Spring Games on March 6, 2020.
Western Illinois – Former Mid-Continent Conference rivals, WIU and Valpo have met 67 times on the diamond, making the Leathernecks the third-most common opponent in Valpo history. WIU leads the series 56-11, but the Beacons have won the last five in the series, including 2-1 and 10-1 victories in neutral-site matchups at Indiana last season.
Bowling Green – BGSU holds a narrow 5-4 edge in the series over Valpo and won the last meeting between the two programs – a 6-1 decision on March 5, 2021 at Marshall.
Eastern Kentucky – Valpo is just 1-4 in program history against EKU and fell to the Colonels last season, 4-1, on March 11 at Kentucky.
What’s Back: Valpo returns 10 of 18 letterwinners from last season’s squad for the 2023 campaign. In all, 40.4% of Valpo’s plate appearances are back for this season and 63.6% of last season’s inning pitched return as well.
Who’s New: This year’s 16-player roster includes six newcomers donning the Brown and Gold for the first time. A quintet of freshmen – Kaia Garnica, Kimberli Rodas, Lexi Szostak, Lyna Vasquez and Cadence Augustine – are joined by Kent State transfer Autumn Acord looking for their first action at Valpo this weekend.
Playing Under the Dome: The Dome is getting to be a familiar sight for Valpo softball in early February. This marks the third consecutive season that the Beacons have opened the campaign in Rosemont at the DePaul Dome Tournament. Notably, Valpo has opened the weekend against the host Blue Demons all three years.
Hitting the Road: This weekend’s games start a long and winding road for the Beacons before they finally get the chance to play at the Valpo Softball Complex. This is the first of four weekends of action prior to the start of conference play, as Valpo will also play at The Spring Games (Madeira Beach, Fla.), Bellarmine and Eastern Kentucky in preconference action. The Beacons have a mid-week game at Illinois leading into their conference-opening weekend at Southern Illinois before finally opening the home slate at the Valpo Softball Complex March 24 versus Illinois State. All told, Valpo is slated to play its first 22 games of the season away from home.
Big Bat Back: Senior catcher Lauren Kehlenbrink enjoyed a stellar conference campaign last year and is looking to carry that over into the 2023 season. In MVC play in 2022, Kehlenbrink hit .314 with 10 runs scored and 20 RBIs – tied for ninth among conference players. She posted a .368 on-base percentage and slugged at a .614 clip, as 13 of her 22 hits were of the extra-base variety – nine doubles (tied for second in the Valley) and four home runs.
Hersch Keeps On Running: Fifth-year infielder Taylor Herschbach brings an impressive streak into the 2023 season, as she was not caught stealing once during the 2022 campaign. Herschbach was a perfect 13-for-13 on the basepaths last year, tying a program single-season record for most steals without being caught. In fact, Herschbach has not been caught stealing since March 7, 2020. Herschbach hit .270 a season ago and ranked second on the team in both stolen bases and runs scored (21).
VALPO WOMEN’S GOLF
EICHENAUER TIES CAREER LOW ON FINAL DAY IN FLORIDA
The Valparaiso University women’s golf team closed out the first tournament of the spring season on Tuesday by golfing the third and final round of the Lady Bison Bay Point Classic, hosted by Lipscomb at the par-72, 5971-yard Bay Point Golf Club in Panama City, Fla. The Beacons were led by Kelsey Eichenauer (North Manchester, Ind. / Manchester), who tied a career best.
How It Happened
Eichenauer carded a 78 to lead the team and tie her career low, which was previously reached this fall in the second round of the Loyola Parkinson Invitational on Oct. 10. She climbed into 57th of 85 by finishing the event with a 54-hole score of 250.
The second-best Round-3 score for the Beacons came courtesy of Madison Keil (LaGrange, Ind. / Lakeland), who carded an 83 to finish the event at 253.
The team’s next best score on Tuesday was Katie Schreiner (Fenton, Mo. / Summit) at 86, while the third-best Beacon for the tournament was Emily Krzyzanowski (Scottsbluff, Neb. / Gering) at 265.
Valpo’s best golf came on par-3 holes, averaging 3.50 strokes on those holes, led by Eicheneaur’s par-3 average of 3.17, fifth best in the tournament field.
The team drained 14 birdies led by five from Eichenauer.
Valpo posted its best 18-hole score of the three-round event with a 334 on Tuesday. The team outdid both Bethune-Cookman and UAB in Tuesday’s round.
Lipscomb won the team title at 909, while Charleston Southern’s Laerke Jensen was the individual medalist at 222.
Thoughts from Head Coach Jill McCoy
“I’m very proud of Kelsey today. She just kept grinding and fighting for every stroke. She has made amazing progress in her four years at Valpo. I’m excited to watch her continue to push herself even farther this spring.”
Valpo will return to the course on Monday, Feb. 20 to begin the Islander Classic in Corpus Christi, Texas.
U OF I TRACK
WOMEN’S INDOOR TRACK & FIELD AT #18 IN USTFCCCA POLL
NEW ORLEANS – The University of Indianapolis women’s indoor track and field team holds the No. 18 ranking in the third edition of the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) top-25 poll.
UIndy falls one spot from last week’s ranking and still sits as the only GLVC program in the poll. Minnesota State holds the top spot while Adams State, Grand Valley State, Northwest Missouri State, and Pittsburg State are in second through fifth, respectively.
The Hounds have had a strong showing in the field events this year. Zoe Pentecost currently ranks second in the NCAA Division II in the weight throw while the duo of Sabrina Robison and Brittney Clark sit in seventh and eighth, respectively, in the pole vault. Ellie Lengerich is 13th in the pentathlon.
The Hounds are set to travel up to Grand Valley St. on Friday and Saturday for competition in Allendale, Mich. The team will also host the Jerry England Invitational on Saturday in the ARC.
U OF I MEN’S BASKETBALL
MEN’S HOOPS REMAINS #7 IN LATEST COACHES POLL
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The UIndy men’s basketball team held strong at No. 7 in the latest National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) poll, released Tuesday afternoon.
The Greyhounds recently upped their win streak to 14 last Saturday, reaching the 20-victory for the first time since the 2019-20 campaign. The ranking marks the 29th week in program history the Hounds have been in the top 10.
Kendrick Tchoua remains atop NCAA DII with a 74.3 percent clip from the field, while Jesse Bingham leads the Greyhounds with 15.9 points per game.
NABC DII Poll
RK SCHOOL (1st-place votes) REC PTS PREV
1. Indiana (PA) (12) 22-0 396 1
2. Nova Southeastern (3) 21-0 386 2
3. Black Hills State 20-1 364 3
4. Northwest Missouri State (1) 21-2 354 4
5. UNC Pembroke 23-1 333 5
6. Central Oklahoma 21-2 323 6
7. UIndy 20-2 294 7
8. Lincoln Memorial 22-2 282 8
9. Point Loma 21-3 263 12
10. Fort Lewis 19-2 251 13
11. Augusta 19-3 233 14
12. West Liberty 19-3 217 16
13. Colorado School of Mines 20-3 200 10
14. Cal State San Bernardino 17-3 193 17
15. Hillsdale 19-3 166 9
16. Bentley 17-3 152 11
17. Southern Nazarene 18-3 147 20
18. St. Thomas Aquinas 20-3 140 18
19. Colorado Mesa 18-4 94 22
20. West Alabama 19-4 91 23
21. Mercyhurst 16-3 87 24
22. Northern State 19-5 67 NR
23. MSU Moorhead 19-5 44 19
24. North Georgia 15-4 31 21
25. Angelo State 18-5 22 15
SMALL COLLEGE ATHLETIC SITES:
INDIANA WESLEYAN ATHLETICS: https://iwuwildcats.com/
EARLHAM ATHLETICS: https://goearlham.com/
WABASH ATHLETICS: https://sports.wabash.edu/
FRANKLIN ATHLETICS: https://franklingrizzlies.com/
ROSE-HULMAN ATHLETICS: https://athletics.rose-hulman.edu/
ANDERSON ATHLETICS: https://athletics.anderson.edu/landing/index
TRINE ATHLETICS: https://trinethunder.com/landing/index
BETHEL ATHLETICS: https://bupilots.com/
DEPAUW ATHLETICS: https://depauwtigers.com/
HANOVER ATHLETICS: https://athletics.hanover.edu/
MANCHESTER ATHLETICS: https://muspartans.com/
HUNTINGTON ATHLETICS: https://www.huathletics.com/
OAKLAND CITY ATHLETICS: https://gomightyoaks.com/index.aspx
ST. FRANCIS ATHLETICS: https://www.saintfranciscougars.com/landing/index
IU KOKOMO ATHLETICS: https://iukcougars.com/
IU EAST ATHLETICS: https://www.iueredwolves.com/
IU SOUTH BEND ATHLETICS: https://iusbtitans.com/
PURDUE NORTHWEST ATHLETICS: https://pnwathletics.com/
INDIANA TECH ATHLETICS: https://indianatechwarriors.com/index.aspx
GRACE COLLEGE ATHLETICS: https://gclancers.com/
ST. MARY OF THE WOODS ATHLETICS: https://smwcathletics.com/
GOSHEN COLLEGE ATHLETICS: https://goleafs.net/
HOLY CROSS ATHLETICS: https://www.hcsaints.com/index.php
TAYLOR ATHLETICS: https://www.taylortrojans.com/
VINCENNES ATHLETICS: https://govutrailblazers.com/landing/index
|W||L||PCT||CONF GB||HOME||ROAD||DIV||CONF||LAST 10||STREAK|
|1 BOSTON||38||16||.704||—||20-7||18-9||7-1||22-11||6-4||1 W|
|2 MILWAUKEE||37||17||.685||1.0||23-5||14-12||7-4||21-13||9-1||8 W|
|3 PHILADELPHIA||34||18||.654||3.0||20-8||14-10||5-4||19-12||8-2||1 L|
|4 CLEVELAND||34||22||.607||5.0||22-6||12-16||9-3||20-10||6-4||3 W|
|5 BROOKLYN||32||22||.593||6.0||16-10||16-12||6-5||22-11||5-5||2 L|
|6 MIAMI||29||25||.537||9.0||17-9||12-16||6-3||13-16||5-5||2 L|
|7 NEW YORK||30||26||.536||9.0||14-15||16-11||4-7||21-15||5-5||2 W|
|8 ATLANTA||27||28||.491||11.5||13-11||14-17||5-4||17-17||4-6||2 L|
|9 CHICAGO||26||28||.481||12.0||16-11||10-17||5-4||20-15||6-4||1 L|
|10 INDIANA||25||30||.455||13.5||17-12||8-18||3-5||17-15||2-8||1 L|
|11 TORONTO||25||30||.455||13.5||15-12||10-18||4-9||15-19||5-5||2 W|
|12 WASHINGTON||24||29||.453||13.5||12-12||12-17||5-3||13-17||6-4||3 L|
|13 ORLANDO||22||33||.400||16.5||13-14||9-19||3-7||11-23||5-5||1 L|
|14 CHARLOTTE||15||40||.273||23.5||7-17||8-23||5-7||8-27||4-6||4 L|
|15 DETROIT||14||41||.255||24.5||7-21||7-20||0-8||6-24||2-8||2 L|
|W||L||PCT||CONF GB||HOME||ROAD||DIV||CONF||LAST 10||STREAK|
|1 DENVER||38||17||.691||—||26-4||12-13||10-5||28-11||6-4||1 W|
|2 MEMPHIS||33||21||.611||4.5||22-5||11-16||6-2||15-16||2-8||1 W|
|3 SACRAMENTO||30||23||.566||7.0||16-11||14-12||5-5||18-11||5-5||1 W|
|4 LA CLIPPERS||31||26||.544||8.0||14-11||17-15||4-4||17-15||8-2||2 W|
|5 PHOENIX||30||26||.536||8.5||19-9||11-17||8-0||20-14||8-2||3 W|
|6 DALLAS||29||26||.527||9.0||19-9||10-17||7-2||21-13||5-5||1 W|
|7 GOLDEN STATE||28||26||.519||9.5||21-6||7-20||4-4||17-11||6-4||2 W|
|8 NEW ORLEANS||29||27||.518||9.5||20-9||9-18||7-4||18-14||3-7||3 W|
|9 MINNESOTA||29||28||.509||10.0||20-12||9-16||7-7||20-18||6-4||1 L|
|10 UTAH||27||28||.491||11.0||18-11||9-17||4-5||19-16||5-5||2 L|
|11 OKLAHOMA CITY||26||28||.481||11.5||16-11||10-17||4-6||13-16||5-5||1 W|
|12 PORTLAND||26||28||.481||11.5||14-12||12-16||5-7||18-15||5-5||2 L|
|13 LA LAKERS||25||30||.455||13.0||13-13||12-17||1-9||12-19||5-5||2 L|
|14 SAN ANTONIO||14||40||.259||23.5||9-21||5-19||2-7||5-30||1-9||9 L|
|15 HOUSTON||13||41||.241||24.5||8-19||5-22||1-8||7-29||3-7||3 L|
|1 BOSTON BRUINS||51||39||7||5||83||37||192||111||22-1-3||17-6-2||7-2-1|
|2 CAROLINA HURRICANES||51||34||9||8||76||31||173||136||17-5-2||17-4-6||9-0-1|
|3 NEW JERSEY DEVILS||50||33||13||4||70||32||176||135||14-10-2||19-3-2||8-1-1|
|4 TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS||52||31||13||8||70||31||175||141||20-5-4||11-8-4||5-4-1|
|5 TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING||50||32||16||2||66||31||179||152||20-4-2||12-12-0||6-3-1|
|6 NEW YORK RANGERS||50||28||14||8||64||26||162||133||14-9-4||14-5-4||6-2-2|
|7 WASHINGTON CAPITALS||53||27||20||6||60||26||166||152||14-8-3||13-12-3||4-6-0|
|8 PITTSBURGH PENGUINS||50||25||16||9||59||24||163||154||15-6-4||10-10-5||4-3-3|
|9 NEW YORK ISLANDERS||54||27||22||5||59||27||154||145||16-9-2||11-13-3||4-4-2|
|10 BUFFALO SABRES||50||26||20||4||56||25||186||170||11-13-2||15-7-2||6-2-2|
|11 FLORIDA PANTHERS||53||25||22||6||56||24||185||184||14-7-3||11-15-3||6-2-2|
|12 OTTAWA SENATORS||50||24||23||3||51||23||151||159||14-11-1||10-12-2||6-4-0|
|13 PHILADELPHIA FLYERS||52||21||22||9||51||21||143||164||10-13-2||11-9-7||4-4-2|
|14 DETROIT RED WINGS||49||21||20||8||50||20||147||165||12-11-3||9-9-5||4-5-1|
|15 MONTREAL CANADIENS||51||20||27||4||44||16||134||189||11-14-1||9-13-3||4-5-1|
|16 COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS||51||15||32||4||34||14||131||198||11-15-2||4-17-2||3-5-2|
|1 DALLAS STARS||52||29||13||10||68||27||176||135||14-5-6||15-8-4||4-2-4|
|2 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS||52||30||18||4||64||27||165||149||14-13-0||16-5-4||3-5-2|
|3 WINNIPEG JETS||52||32||19||1||65||32||166||137||18-8-0||14-11-1||5-5-0|
|4 SEATTLE KRAKEN||50||29||16||5||63||29||177||155||13-10-3||16-6-2||5-4-1|
|5 LOS ANGELES KINGS||53||28||18||7||63||24||173||183||14-9-2||14-9-5||5-4-1|
|6 MINNESOTA WILD||49||27||18||4||58||23||153||141||15-8-1||12-10-3||5-4-1|
|7 EDMONTON OILERS||51||29||18||4||62||29||192||164||13-11-3||16-7-1||8-1-1|
|8 COLORADO AVALANCHE||49||27||18||4||58||23||152||135||13-9-3||14-9-1||7-2-1|
|9 CALGARY FLAMES||51||24||17||10||58||23||161||157||14-9-2||10-8-8||5-3-2|
|10 NASHVILLE PREDATORS||49||24||19||6||54||22||138||146||14-8-3||10-11-3||5-5-0|
|11 ST. LOUIS BLUES||51||23||25||3||49||20||156||185||10-12-2||13-13-1||3-7-0|
|12 VANCOUVER CANUCKS||50||20||26||4||44||17||169||198||10-13-1||10-13-3||3-6-1|
|13 SAN JOSE SHARKS||52||16||25||11||43||15||161||199||5-12-7||11-13-4||3-4-3|
|14 ARIZONA COYOTES||51||17||28||6||40||15||134||179||11-8-2||6-20-4||4-5-1|
|15 ANAHEIM DUCKS||52||17||29||6||40||14||130||210||9-13-1||8-16-5||5-3-2|
|16 CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS||49||15||29||5||35||15||120||179||9-16-3||6-13-2||5-4-1|
FEBRUARY 8, 1936 – FIRST EVER NFL DRAFT TOOK PLACE AS JAY BERWANGER FROM UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO WAS THE FIRST PICK BY PHILADELPHIA EAGLES. ACCORDING TO THE PRO FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME’S WEBSITE, BEFORE THIS INAUGURAL DRAFT PLAYERS COULD SIGN WITH ANY TEAM THEY SO DESIRED, BUT THIS PRACTICE CAUSED A GREAT DISPARITY IN THE NFL, IN FACT IN MANY SPORTS. FRANCHISES SUCH AS THE BEARS AND GIANTS HELD SOMEWHAT OF A MONOPOLY ON THE GOOD PLAYERS AND THUS THEY WERE PERENNIAL CONTENDERS. THAT IS WHEN THE OWNER OF THE EAGLES AND FUTURE NFL COMMISSIONER, BERT BELL INTRODUCED A PROPOSAL OF THE DRAFT TO HELP BRING PARITY TO THE LEAGUE. OF COURSE THE BIGGER MARKET TEAMS WERE AGAINST THIS BUT BELL AND COMPANY CONVINCED THEM THAT IT WAS ESSENTIAL FOR THE LEAGUE’S SURVIVAL. ON MAY 19, 1935 THE PLAN THAT CALLED FOR TEAMS TO SELECT PLAYERS IN INVERSE ORDER OF THEIR FINISH THE PREVIOUS SEASON WAS PASSED AND THEN USED IN THE 1936 DRAFT.
FEBRUARY 8, 1960 – OAKLAND RAIDERS CO-OWNER Y.C. “CHET” SODA WAS NAMED FRANCHISE’S FIRST GENERAL MANAGER PER THE RAIDERS.COM WEBSITE.
FEBRUARY 8, 1963 – AFL’S DALLAS TEXANS MOVED OUT OF THE STATE OF TEXAS AND RELOCATED IN MISSOURI TO BECOME THE KANSAS CITY CHIEFS.
FEBRUARY 8, 1996 – THE NFL AND THE CITY OF CLEVELAND ALLOWED ART MODELL TO RELOCATE HIS NFL FRANCHISE TO BALTIMORE, MARYLAND BUT THE BROWNS’ NICKNAME WAS SEPARATED FROM THAT MODELL OWNED FRANCHISE AND HAD TO STAY IN CLEVELAND.
FEBRUARY 8, 2004 – ALOHA STADIUM, HONOLULU – MARK BULGER THE ST. LOUIS RAMS QUARTERBACK WON THE MOST VALUABLE PLAYER AWARD FOR THE NFL PRO BOWL AS HIS NFC TEAMMATES OUTSCORED THE AFC BY THE AMAZING FINAL SCORE OF 55-52!
FEBRUARY 8, 2009 – THE 2008 SEASON’S NFL PRO BOWL WAS ALSO PLAYED AT ALOHA STADIUM, HONOLULU, HAWAII. THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE AGAIN DEFEATED THE AMERICAN CONFERENCE THIS TIME BY THE SCORE OF 30-21. THE MVP OF THE GAME OF THE SEASON’S TOP PLAYERS WAS ARIZONA CARDINALS TERRIFIC WIDE RECEIVER LARRY FITZGERALD.
FEBRUARY 8, 1920 – FAIRBAULT, MINNESOTA – MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHER HALFBACK BRUCE “BOO” SMITH WAS BORN PER THE NFF. BOO WAS FAMOUS FOR HELPING TO GRASP VICTORY FROM THE DEPTHS OF AN APPARENT DEFEAT, DOING IT WITH LONG-RUNS AT DRAMATIC MOMENTS AND LEADING MINNESOTA TO NATIONAL TITLES IN 1940 AND 1941. IN PACING THE GOPHERS TO THE FIRST OF THEIR BACK-TO-BACK 8-0-0 CAMPAIGNS, SMITH WAS THE MAN THE TEAM LEANED ON IN 1940. SMITH HAD A KNACK FOR PRODUCING SCORING COME-FROM-BEHIND TOUCHDOWNS THAT BROUGHT THE CROWDS OUT OF SEATS AND ESCAPE THREATS BY THE LIKES OF NEBRASKA, OHIO STATE AND MICHIGAN. THE MORE BOO PLAYED THE BETTER HE GOT. IN 1941 HE RAN THROUGH THE COMPETITION AND WON THE HEISMAN TROPHY. AFTER GRADUATION BOO WAS THE MVP IN THE 1942 CHICAGO COLLEGE ALL STAR GAME AGAINST THE NFL’S CHICAGO BEARS. .BOO SMITH WAS HONORED WITH INDUCTION INTO THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME IN 1972 AFTER THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL FOUNDATION TALLIED THEIR VOTES.
FEBRUARY 8, 1925 – THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA’S GREAT GUARD ROD FRANZ GARNERED HIS BORN ON DATE. THE NFF REMINDS US THAT ROD HELPED TURN AROUND A SUB PAR CAL PROGRAM INTO CONTENDERS. FRANZ WAS AN HONORABLE MENTION ALL-AMERICA LISTING AS A FRESHMAN, BUT THEN FRANZ BECAME ONLY THE SECOND PACIFIC COAST PLAYER TO BECOME A THREE-TIME ALL-AMERICA. THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL FOUNDATION SELECTED ROD FRANZ FOR ENTRANCE INTO THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME IN 1977.
FEBRUARY 8, 1942 – MOUNT PROSPECT, ILLINOIS – GEORGE BORK THE FANTASTIC QUARTERBACK FROM NORTHERN ILLINOIS ARRIVED INTO THIS LIFE. GEORGE WAS A FOUR YEAR FOOTBALL LETTERMAN AT NI BUT ONLY PLAYED QUARTERBACK IN HIS FINAL 3 SEASONS ACCORDING TO THE FOOTBALLFOUNDATION.ORG. BORK LED THE NATION IN TOTAL OFFENSE AND PASSING IN 1962 AFTER HIS COACHING STAFF INSTALLED THE SHOTGUN SPREAD FORMATION. GEORGE THRIVED IN THE SYSTEM AS HE COMPLETED 232 PASSES FOR 2,506 YARDS. HE REPEATED IN 1963, WITH 244 COMPLETIONS FOR 3,077 YARDS. THE SCHOOL RETIRED HIS JERSEY NO.11 AT THE END OF HIS HUSKY PLAYING DAYS. GEORGE BORK RECEIVED THE GREAT HONOR OF BEING SELECTED FOR INCLUSION INTO THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME IN 1999.
FEBRUARY 8, 1948 – NORTHAMPTON, PENNSYLVANIA – THE STUD PENN STATE UNIVERSITY LINEBACKER DENNIS ONKOTZ WAS BORN. DENNIS HAD A NOSE FOR FINDING THE MAN WITH THE BALL AND DROPPING HIM TO THE DIRT AS HE EARNED ALL-AMERICA HONORS AT LINEBACKER IN 1968 AND 1969. ACCORDING TO THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL FOUNDATION ONKOTZ INTERCEPTED 11 PASSES AND SCORED ON PICKS SIXES WITH THREE OF THEM. HE WAS ALSO AN OUTSTANDING AND ELECTRIC PUNT RETURNER. IN HIS THREE SEASONS HE HELD AN AVERAGE OF 13.2 YARDS PER PUNT RETURN. HIS TALENT EXTENDED BEYOND THAT TOO AS HE ALSO LED THE NITTANY LIONS IN TACKLES AND WAS NAMED AS AN ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICAN. THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL FOUNDATION SELECTED DENNIS ONKOTZ FOR ENTRANCE INTO THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME IN 1995.
SPORTS IN NUMBERS
7 – 15 – 99 – 33
FEBRUARY 8, 1963 – IT BECAME OFFICIAL ON THIS DAY THAT THE AMERICAN FOOTBALL LEAGUE FRANCHISE FORMERLY CALLED THE DALLAS TEXANS WERE NOW RELOCATED TO MISSOURI TO BE NAMED THE KANSAS CITY CHIEFS.
FEBRUARY 8, 1975 – “PISTOL” PETE MARAVICH , WEARING NUMBER 7, SCORED 47 POINTS AS THE NEW ORLEANS JAZZ END A 28 GAME NBA ROAD LOSING STREAK WITH A 106-102 WIN OVER THE HAWKS IN ATLANTA. IF YOU GO TO OUR SPORTS JERSEY DISPATCH PODCAST TITLED DODGER BLUE YOU CAN HEAR OUR FRIEND RICK LOAYZA SPEAK ABOUT MARAVICH.
FEBRUARY 8, 1982 – LOS ANGELES DODGERS TRADED 2B DAVEY LOPES, NUMBER 15 TO THE OAKLAND A’S, BREAKING UP MLB’S LONGEST-PLAYING INFIELD PLAYING TOGETHER FOR NINE SEASONS CONSISTING OF RON CEY, BILL RUSSELL, DAVEY LOPES AND, STEVE GARVEY. IN EXCHANGE THE DODGERS RECEIVED LANCE HUDSON A MINOR LEAGUE PROSPECT AT SHORT STOP.
FEBRUARY 8, 1983 – WAYNE GRETZKY, NUMBER 99 FOR THE EDMONTON OILERS SET AN NHL ALL-STAR GAME RECORD OF 4 GOALS IN JUST 1 PERIOD!
FEBRUARY 8, 1985 – BRUCE MORRIS, NUMBER 33 OF MARSHALL UNIVERSITY, MADE A 92′ 5½” BASKETBALL SHOT AGAINST APPALACHIAN STATE. THIS MADE FIELD GOAL PROVED TO BE THE LONGEST IN COLLEGIATE BASKETBALL HISTORY ACCORDING TO GUINESS BOOK OF WORLD RECORDS.
TODAY IN BASEBALL HISTORY
1901 RUMORS OF THE PHILLIES’ STAR SECOND BASEMAN NAPOLEON LAJOIE JUMPING TO THE ATHLETICS, THE PHILADELPHIA FRANCHISE IN THE NEW AMERICAN LEAGUE, PROVE TRUE. THE NATIONAL LEAGUE’S LEADING HITTER, CLEARLY IN VIOLATION OF THE RESERVE CLAUSE, SWITCHES TO THE JUNIOR CIRCUIT, WINNING THE TRIPLE CROWN, LEADING THE LEAGUE WITH A .426 BATTING AVERAGE, 14 HOMERS, AND 125 RBIS.
1942 AT THE FOLSOM CORRECTIONAL FACILITY IN CALIFORNIA, THE ANNUAL GAME BETWEEN BIG LEAGUERS AND THE PRISON INMATES OCCURS AFTER A DELAY WHEN THE GUARDS NEED TO SEARCH FOR TWO CONVICTS ATTEMPTING AN ESCAPE. THE CONTEST DOES NOT RESUME AFTER ESCAPEES ARE APPREHENDED, WITH THE VISITING TEAM AHEAD 24-5 AT THE END OF SEVEN INNINGS.
1956 IN PHILADELPHIA, FORMER A’S MANAGER AND OWNER CONNIE MACK, 93, DIES OF “OLD AGE AND COMPLICATIONS FROM HIS HIP SURGERY.” THE ‘TALL TACTICIAN’ SET RECORDS FOR MAJOR LEAGUE WINS (3,731) AND LOSSES (3,948), COMPILING A .486 MANAGERIAL MARK DURING HIS 54 YEARS AS A SKIPPER, INCLUDING HIS THREE SEASONS WITH THE PIRATES BEFORE THE TURN OF THE CENTURY.
1972 NEGRO LEAGUE HALL OF FAME SELECTION OF BUCK LEONARD AND JOSH GIBSON, A POWER-HITTING CATCHER, CALLED THE “BLACK BABE RUTH” DURING HIS PLAYING DAYS. LEONARD, A TEAMMATE OF GIBSON ON THE HOMESTEAD GRAYS WHO ONCE TURNED DOWN AN MLB CONTRACT BELIEVING HE WAS TOO OLD TO COMPETE AT THAT LEVEL, WAS RANKED #47 ON A 1999 SPORTING NEWS POLL OF THE 100 GREATEST BASEBALL PLAYERS.
1973 THE OWNERS ANNOUNCE ‘EARLY BIRD’ SPRING TRAINING, SCHEDULED TO BEGIN NEXT WEEK, WILL NOT OCCUR UNTIL THEY COMPLETE NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE PLAYERS’ ASSOCIATION. THE 23-DAY LOCKOUT CAUSED BY A DISAGREEMENT OVER SALARY ARBITRATION WILL NOT AFFECT THE START OF THE REGULAR SEASON.
1982 THE LONGEST-PLAYING INFIELD FOURSOME IS BROKEN UP WHEN THE DODGERS TRADE DAVEY LOPES STRAIGHT UP FOR A’S MINOR LEAGUER LANCE HUDSON, A MIDDLE INFIELDER WHO WILL NEVER APPEAR IN A MAJOR LEAGUE GAME. THE 36-YEAR-OLD FORMER LA SECOND BASEMAN HAD PLAYED WITH STEVE GARVEY, RON CEY, AND BILL RUSSELL SINCE 1974.
2006 AFTER REJECTING AN EARLIER PROPOSAL BY AN 8-5 MARGIN A FEW HOURS AGO, THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA COUNCIL REVERSES ITSELF AND APPROVES A REVISED LEASE FOR A NEW WASHINGTON, D.C. BALLPARK. AT THE URGING OF MAYOR ANTHONY A. WILLIAMS, THE COUNCIL RECONVENES AND VOTES 9-4 TO APPROVE THE DEAL AFTER ATTACHING LEGISLATION CAPPING THE DISTRICT’S TOTAL COST AT A BIT LESS THAN $611 MILLION.
2006 WAYNE KRIVSKY, A LEADING CANDIDATE FOR THE JOB IN 2004, IS FINALLY SELECTED AS THE REDS GENERAL MANAGER. THE 51-YEAR-OLD FORMER TWINS EXECUTIVE REPLACES DAN O’BRIEN, FIRED DUE TO BOB CASTELLINI, THE TEAM’S NEW OWNER, DESIRE TO CHOOSE HIS BASEBALL PEOPLE.
2006 JOHNNY DAMON, THE FORMER BELOVED RED SOX OUTFIELDER WHO SIGNED AS A FREE AGENT WITH THE HATED YANKEES, TAKES OUT A FULL-PAGE AD IN THE BOSTON GLOBE, THANKING FANS FOR THEIR LOYALTY AND SUPPORT. AS ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR PLAYERS IN FRANCHISE HISTORY, THE LONG-HAIR SELF-PROCLAIMED ‘IDIOT’ INCURRED THE WRATH OF THE FENWAY FAITHFUL WHEN HE AGREED TO A $52 MILLION, FOUR-YEAR DEAL TO PLAY IN THE BRONX.
2008 IN A LONG AND DRAWN-OUT 5-FOR-1 DEAL, THE MARINERS FINALLY LAND ERIK BEDARD (13-5, 3.16) FROM THE ORIOLES. IN EXCHANGE FOR THEIR OPENING DAY PITCHER LAST SEASON, BALTIMORE RECEIVES CENTER FIELDER ADAM JONES, VETERAN SOUTHPAW RELIEVER GEORGE SHERRILL, AND PITCHING PROSPECTS CHRIS TILLMAN, TONY BUTLER, AND KAM MICKOLIO FROM THE EMERALD CITY.
2008 THE BREWERS EXERCISE NED YOST’S 2009 OPTION, AFTER THE 53-YEAR-OLD SKIPPER LED MILWAUKEE TO ITS FIRST WINNING SEASON SINCE 1992, FINISHING SECOND IN THE NL CENTRAL WITH AN 83-79 WON-LOSS RECORD. THE SKIPPER WILL NEVER MANAGE A GAME IN HIS EXTENDED CONTRACTED YEAR AFTER BEING DISMISSED WITH 12 GAMES REMAINING THIS SEASON, TAKING THE BLAME FOR THE UNDER-ACHIEVING TEAM’S SWOON IN AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER.
2009 IN THE SOFTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME OF THE LEADOFF CLASSIC, KYLIE REYNOLDS OF KENT STATE STRIKES OUT 18 STETSON BATTERS EN ROUTE TO THROWING A NINE-INNING NO-HITTER. THE GOLDEN FLASHES’ JUNIOR SETS A NEW SCHOOL RECORD FOR STRIKEOUTS IN HER 1-0 MASTERPIECE AT PATRICIA WILSON FIELD.
2010 AS A TRIBUTE TO HIS FELLOW COUNTRYMAN, OMAR VIZQUEL WILL WEAR THE NUMBER 11 THIS SEASON TO HONOR LUIS APARICIO. THE WHITE SOX WILL TEMPORARILY “UNRETIRE” THE HALL OF FAMER’S NUMBER FOR THE VENEZUELAN SHORTSTOP, RECENTLY ACQUIRED BY THE TEAM AS A FREE AGENT.
2010 THE BREWERS ANNOUNCE THE CLUB PLANS TO ERECT A SEVEN-FOOT STATUE OF FORMER OWNER BUD SELIG WITH ITS UNVEILING SCHEDULED DURING A PREGAME CEREMONY AT MILLER PARK IN AUGUST. SELIG, THE CURRENT BASEBALL COMMISSIONER, LED A GROUP OF INVESTORS THAT MOVED THE BANKRUPT SEATTLE PILOTS TO MILWAUKEE IN 1970.
2011 TONY MALINOSKY, THE OLDEST LIVING MAJOR LEAGUER, DIES AT 101 IN OXNARD, CALIFORNIA. IN 1937, THE BROOKLYN INFIELDER, A SURVIVOR OF THE BATTLE OF THE BULGE, PLAYED 35 GAMES FOR THE TEAM BEFORE BEING HONORED ON HIS 100TH BIRTHDAY IN 2009.
|NCAA BASKETBALL GAMES – MEN’S||TIME ET||TV|
|HOFSTRA AT NORTHEASTERN||6:00PM||CBSSN|
|LOYOLA MARYLAND AT ARMY WEST POINT||6:00PM||ESPN+|
|CREIGHTON AT SETON HALL||6:30PM||FS1|
|NEBRASKA AT MICHIGAN||6:30PM||BTN|
|WINTHROP AT UNC ASHEVILLE||6:30PM||ESPN+|
|MONMOUTH AT STONY BROOK||6:30PM||FLOSPORTS|
|IOWA STATE AT WEST VIRGINIA||7:00PM||ESPN2|
|SYRACUSE AT FLORIDA STATE||7:00PM||ESPNU|
|TENNESSEE AT VANDERBILT||7:00PM||SECN|
|BOSTON COLLEGE AT VIRGINIA TECH||7:00PM||ACCN|
|NOTRE DAME AT GEORGIA TECH||7:00PM||ACCN|
|BELMONT AT MISSOURI STATE||7:00PM||–|
|VALPARAISO AT INDIANA STATE||7:00PM||ESPN+|
|IUPUI AT WRIGHT STATE||7:00PM||ESPN+|
|FURMAN AT VMI||7:00PM||ESPN+|
|SAMFORD AT MERCER||7:00PM||ESPN+|
|THE CITADEL AT CHATTANOOGA||7:00PM||ESPN+|
|WESTERN CAROLINA AT WOFFORD||7:00PM||ESPN+|
|LEHIGH AT COLGATE||7:00PM||ESPN+|
|AMERICAN AT BOSTON UNIVERSITY||7:00PM||ESPN+|
|BUCKNELL AT NAVY||7:00PM||ESPN+|
|BRYANT AT UALBANY||7:00PM||ESPN+|
|BINGHAMTON AT NEW HAMPSHIRE||7:00PM||ESPN+|
|NJIT AT UMBC||7:00PM||ESPN+|
|VERMONT AT MAINE||7:00PM||ESPN+|
|MEMPHIS AT SOUTH FLORIDA||7:00PM||ESPN+|
|GEORGE MASON AT DUQUESNE||7:00PM||ESPN+|
|LA SALLE AT ST. BONAVENTURE||7:00PM||ESPN+|
|RICHMOND AT GEORGE WASHINGTON||7:00PM||ESPN+|
|UMASS AT FORDHAM||7:00PM||ESPN+|
|CHARLESTON SOUTHERN AT USC UPSTATE||7:00PM||ESPN+|
|HIGH POINT AT CAMPBELL||7:00PM||ESPN+|
|PRESBYTERIAN AT LONGWOOD||7:00PM||ESPN+|
|DREXEL AT DELAWARE||7:00PM||–|
|ELON AT NORTH CAROLINA A&T||7:00PM||FLOSPORTS|
|HAMPTON AT TOWSON||7:00PM||FLOSPORTS|
|UNCW AT CHARLESTON||7:00PM||FLOSPORTS|
|CENTRAL CONNECTICUT AT HARTFORD||7:00PM||–|
|GEORGETOWN AT PROVIDENCE||8:00PM||CBSSN|
|TEXAS TECH AT OKLAHOMA STATE||8:00PM||ESPN+|
|TULSA AT HOUSTON||8:00PM||ESPN+|
|UCF AT WICHITA STATE||8:00PM||ESPN+|
|TEMPLE AT SMU||8:00PM||ESPN+|
|UNI AT EVANSVILLE||8:00PM||ESPN+|
|UIC AT SOUTHERN ILLINOIS||8:00PM||ESPN+|
|BRADLEY AT ILLINOIS STATE||8:00PM||ESPN+|
|CALIFORNIA BAPTIST AT UTAH VALLEY||8:00PM||ESPN+|
|DEPAUL AT VILLANOVA||8:30PM||FS1|
|WISCONSIN AT PENN STATE||8:30PM||BTN|
|FLORIDA AT ALABAMA||9:00PM||ESPN2|
|OKLAHOMA AT BAYLOR||9:00PM||ESPNU|
|LSU AT MISSISSIPPI STATE||9:00PM||SECN|
|SAINT JOSEPH’S AT LOYOLA CHICAGO||9:00PM||NBCS-CHI|
|SAN DIEGO STATE AT UTAH STATE||10:00PM||CBSSN|
|UTAH TECH VS. SEATTLE U||10:00PM||ESPN+|
|UNLV AT WYOMING||10:30PM||FS1|
|NBA REGULAR SEASON GAMES||TIME ET||TV|
|DETROIT AT CLEVELAND||7:00PM||BALLY SPORTS|
|CHARLOTTE AT WASHINGTON||7:00PM||NBCS-WSH|
|PHILADELPHIA AT BOSTON||7:30PM||ESPN|
|INDIANA AT MIAMI||7:30PM||BALLY SPORTS|
|SAN ANTONIO AT TORONTO||7:30PM||BALLY SPORTS|
|SACRAMENTO AT HOUSTON||8:00PM||NBCS-CA|
|MINNESOTA AT UTAH||9:00PM||ATTSN-RM|
|DALLAS AT LA CLIPPERS||10:00PM||ESPN|
|GOLDEN STATE AT PORTLAND||10:00PM||NBCS-BAY|
|NHL REGULAR SEASON GAMES||TIME ET||TV|
|VANCOUVER AT NY RANGERS||8:00PM||SPORTSNET|
|MINNESOTA AT DALLAS||8:30PM||TNT|
|SOCCER MATCHES||TIME ET||TV|
|DFB POKAL: NÜRNBERG VS FORTUNA DÜSSELDORF||12:00PM||ESPN+|
|COUPE DE FRANCE: OLYMPIQUE LYONNAIS VS LILLE||12:15PM||FS2|
|ENGLAND FA CUP: SUNDERLAND VS FULHAM||2:45PM||ESPN+|
|DFB POKAL: BOCHUM VS BORUSSIA DORTMUND||2:45PM||ESPN+|
|ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE: MANCHESTER UNITED VS LEEDS UNITED||3:00PM||USA|
|COPA LIBERTADORES: NACIONAL POTOSÍ VS EL NACIONAL||7:00PM||BEIN SPORTS|